Monday, 11 August 2008

The Paraíso's image

First picture of the Tapas 7 seen together


THIS is the first picture of the Tapas 7 seen together at a beach bar just hours before Maddie was snatched. They were captured on CCTV having drinks before making the 10-minute walk to the restaurant where they met the McCann. The digital time on the film is 5.59pm - about the time Gerry and Kate were picking Maddie up from kids club to get her ready for bed", wrote "The News of The World", on August 10, 2008.

Not very accurate, this time line and description of events. The seven friends didn't go from Paraíso beach bar to meet the McCann in Tapas bar. This is a brief description (*) of the hours between 4:30/5:00 pm up to 8:00 pm, May 3:

1 – The seven friends and children went to the beach, on the afternoon of May 3, at different hours and later, all together, went to Paraíso beach bar,;

2 – They asked food for the children and it was around 5:30 pm when the food arrived;

3 – The men (David, Matthew and Russell) left around 5:55/6:20 pm (1), to go to the tennis court (2), because there was a “men’s social tennis round” that night;

4 – The wives stayed in the Paraíso Bar, because they had asked for ice creams for the kids and the men were late for the “men’s social tennis round” scheduled to start at 6:00 pm;

5 – When the three men arrived at the tennis court, Gerry was there, already, playing;

6 - Kate had been at the tennis court, with Gerry, after 3:30 pm, but she left around 4:30 pm and went jogging on the beach (3). Gerry stayed in the courts, playing with Julian;

7 – The nannies took the children (including the three McCann children) to have “high tea” near the Tapas bar, around 5:00 pm;

8 – Kate finished jogging (5:20/5:30 pm) and met Gerry, who was already with Madeleine, Sean and Amelie near the Tapas Bar. They took the kids,together, to the apartment and Gerry went back to tennis;

9 – Around 6:10/6:15 pm, all the women left Paraíso with the kids and went to the tennis court to see the men playing. They stayed there for some undisclosed time and went to their apartments, around 6:45/7:20 pm;

10 – Gerry asked David Payne (4), around 6:30 pm, to look in on Kate, to see if she needed help to take the kids to the playing area, near Tapas bar;

11 – David knocked at the A5 apartment (4). Kate had just finished having a bath and David saw that the kids were already bathed and were in their pyjamas (5) playing around;

12 – Kate told David the kids were very tired, so they were not going to the playing area (6);

13 – David Payne got his tennis kit and went to the court. He arrived around 7:00 pm and the four men (Gerry, David, Matthew and Russell) started to play, but after a short time Gerry decided he had had enough tennis and went to the apartment. He was replaced by Dan, a tennis coach from Ocean Club;

14 – The three men played until almost 8:00 pm and they went back to their apartments, to get ready for dinner, as the table was reserved for 8:30 pm (7).


(1) Matthew said they left Paraíso at 6:20 pm. Russell said the three men left around 6:00 pm. David also stated 6:00 pm. Fiona said it was 5:55/6:00 pm, when the three men left.

(2) Russell said that he and Matthew went straight to the courts. Matthew said he went to the apartment to get his tennis gear and Russell did the same. David said the other two men went to the apartments and he went to meet Gerry, who was already playing, at the courts.

(3) According to Russell, while the group was at the beach, before going to Paraíso beach bar, they saw Kate doing her jogging near the seaside, at around 5:15/5:20 pm. They didn't talk, some people from the group that was at the beach just waved to Kate. Russell said that David went to his own apartment and also – he believes – to the McCann apartment. Briefly, David came back and joined them, there was Dan with two or three more guests and they played for more than one hour, until 8:00 pm, Russell said. Gerry went back to the apartment a short time before the three men, according to Russell. Dan, the tennis coach, also left earlier.

(4) – It was Gerry who asked him to check on Kate and the kids, Payne told Police. According to Kate, David knocked at the door (the door facing the swimming pool). She just put a towel around her, went to the living room and they had a brief talk. David said he thinks the French doors were open and he went inside the apartment. The kids were there, playing around, and the conversation with Kate was short. David Payne confirmed this was the last time he saw Madeleine.

(5) About the kids, David Payne said they were all dressed in their pyjamas, looked like angels, just at the beginning of his statement to British Police. 41 minutes later, when asked what everybody was wearing, he said he could only remember that the kids were dressed in white. He could not remember what Kate McCann was wearing.

(6) The conversation with Kate was short: 3 to 5 minutes, David Payne said.

(7) According to Fiona Payne, David came back from tennis at 7:10 pm, still in time to help give the children a bath . Diana Webster said her son-in-law helped to bath the children, around 7:10 pm. Matthew Oldfield said that the three men (he, Russell and David) played up to 8:00 pm. Rachael told police that Gerry left at 7:20 pm to help Kate put the children in bed. Russell also said the he, David and Matthew played for almost one hour, close to 8:00 pm and they left the tennis court together.

(*) These details were obtained by cross-referencing information from statements given to Portuguese and British police by the McCann couple, their seven friends and Kate's personal notes. Large time gaps, in some situations, are due to the different times given by the persons questioned.

Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis