British lawyer says Madeleine McCann's parents neglected daughter

Madeleine McCann is seen how she may have looked as her ninth birthday approached, in this computer-generated handout file photograph released in London April 25, 2012

Credits: REUTERS/Metropolitan Police/Handout/Files


A British lawyer defending a mother who drove drunk and left her five-year-old son at home argued his client should not be jailed because the parents of Madeleine McCann were never punished for leaving her alone.

McCann was three when she went missing from a Praia da Luz resort on Portugal's southern coast in May 2007 while her parents were having dinner with friends a short distance away.

On Monday, Gareth Morgan compared his client -- a 44-year-old mother of a boy with Asperger's syndrome who crashed her car while driving to a bank machine while drunk -- to Kate and Gerry McCann, the Telegraph reports.

"The parents of Madeleine McCann were guilty of child neglect for leaving their little girl much longer than my client. They were never prosecuted. The mother in this case is ashamed and remorseful at putting her young child at risk in the way she did," he said.

A McCann family friend told the Mirror the comparison was "insensitive and plain wrong."

The 44-year-old mom, who was not named, crashed into another car at a traffic light, then told the other driver, "That was your f------ fault," before driving away, the Mirror reported.

When police arrived at her home, the woman said she couldn't be arrested because her son was inside. Officers found the boy asleep on a couch.

The woman pleaded guilty to child neglect, drunk driving and leaving an accident. She was ordered to do community work and has been banned from driving for 22 months.

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