Just five hours in May

What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann?

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Martin Smith

Irish Martin Smith is a central witness in the case. He was interviewed on 26-05-2007 by the PJ. He is the father of adult son Peter Daniel Smith and the then 12-year old daughter Aoife Smith.

The Smith-Family met the main suspect at about 22:00 just 375 meters away from Apartment 5A.

In the two files one finds also his two records related to Leicestershire Police later in 2007:


26-05-2007#file1

“As he reached this artery, he saw an individual carrying a child, who walked normally and fitted in perfectly in that area, in that it is common to see people carrying children, at least during the holiday season. This individual was walking the downward path, in the opposite direction to him and his companions. He is not aware where this person was headed. He only saw him as they passed each other. He assumed it was a father and daughter, not raising any suspicion. — Urged, states that when he passed this individual it would have been around 22H00, and at the time he was completely unaware that a child had disappeared. He only became aware of the disappearance of the child the next morning, through his daughter, L*, in Ireland who had sent him a message or called him regarding what had happened. At this point he thought that MADELEINE could have been the child he saw with the individual. — Regarding the description of the individual who carried the child he states that: he was Caucasian, around 175 to 180m in height. He appeared to be about 35/40 years old. He had an average build, a bit on the thin side. His hair was short, in a basic male cut, brown in colour. He cannot state if it was dark or lighter in tone. He did not wear glasses and had no beard or moustache. He did not notice any other relevant details partly due to the fact that the lighting was not very good. — He was wearing cream or beige-coloured cloth trousers in a classic cut. He did not see his shoes. He did not notice the body clothing and cannot describe the colour or fashion of the same. — He states that the child was female, about four years of age as she was similar to his granddaughter of the same age. She was a child of normal build, about a metre in height though not being absolutely certain of that as she was being carried. The child has blonde medium-hued hair, without being very light. Her skin was very white, typical of a Brit. He did not notice her eyes as she was asleep and her eyelids were closed. — She was wearing light-coloured pyjamas. He cannot state with certainty the colour. She was not covered by any wrap or blanket. He cannot confirm whether she was barefoot but in his group, they spoke about the child having no cover on her feet. — Urged, he states that the individual did not appear to be a tourist. He cannot explain this further. It was simply his perception given the individual's clothing. He states that the individual carried the child in his arms, with her head laying on the individual's left shoulder, that being to the right of the deponent. He adds that he did not hold the child in a comfortable position, suggesting [the carrying] not being habitual. — Having already seen various photographs of MADELEINE and televised images, states that the child who was carried by the individual could have been her. He cannot state this as fact but is convinced that it could have been MADELEINE, also the opinion shared by his family. — Questioned, says that the individual did not speak nor did the child as she was in a deep sleep. ”


26-05-2007#file2

“Rec via: TELEPHONE Series: 241 Ident: BC19-8286-1055 20/09/07 Telephone: * Locale: Portugal/Out of country Origin: Mr. Martin Smith 'Ireland

Text: Reported that he passed a male carrying a child in Praia da Luz the night Maddie went missing. Went and made a statement to Portugal police in Portimao on 26th of May and returned to the U.K. Is saying that after seeing McCANNS on the news on 9th of September when they returned to the U.K. He has not slept and is worried sick. He states he was watching the 10 pm news on BBC and saw the McCANNS getting off the plane and coming down the steps. He states it was like watching an action replay of the night he saw the male carrying the child back in Portugal. He states the way Gerry was carrying his twin triggered something in his head. It was exactly the same way and look of the other male seen the night Maddy went missing. He also watched ITV news and SKY news and inferred it looked like the same person both times carrying the children. Is asking a member of the OP Task Force to ring him back. He was with a group of 9 family and friends the night he saw the male in Portugal. He sounded quite shaken and worried whilst speaking to me.

Lindsay Long Holmes Indexer Major Crime Braunstone Police Station”


“Detective Branch Drogheda County Lough

Re – Investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

I took an additional statement from Mr Smith as requested. His wife does not want to make another statement. I showed him the video clip and he stated that it was not the clip that alerted him but the BBC news at 10 PM on 9th September 2007. He has been contacted by numerous tabloid press looking for stories. He has been contacted by Mr Brian Kennedy who is supporting the McCann family to take part in a photo fit exercise. He has given no stories or helped in any photo fits. He sent a solicitor's letter to six papers in relation material that was printed that was misquoted. The Evening Herald paid his solicitor's fees and all papers printed an apology. His photograph appeared in another tabloid paper and this matter is being pursued at the moment.

I do not believe that Martin Smith is courting the press and my view his is a genuine person. He is known locally and is a very decent person.

Forwarded please

Sergeant Liam Hogan”


“I [Martin Smith] would like to state that the statement I made on 26th May 2007 in Portugal is correct. The description of the individual that I saw on 3rd May 2007 carrying a child is as follows. He was average build, 5 foot 10' in height, brown hair cut short, aged 40 years approximately. Wearing beige trousers and darkish top maybe a jacket or blazer. He had a full head of hair with a tight cut. This individual was alone. I saw Gerard McCann (sic) going down the plane stairs carrying one of his children on 9th September 2007 BBC news at 10 PM, I have been shown the video clip by Sergeant Hogan which I recognise. A clip I have seen before on the Internet. In relation to the video clips of Gerard McCann and the person I saw on 3rd May 2007 when I saw the BBC news at 10 PM on 9th September 2007 something struck me that it could have been the same person. It was the way Gerard McCann turned his head down which was similar to what the individual did on 3rd May 2007 when we met him. It may have been the way he was carrying the child either. I would be 60-80% sure that it was Gerard McCann that I met that night carrying a child. I am basing that on his mannerism in the way he carried the child off the plane. After seeing the BBC news at 10 PM, footage on the 9th September 2007 I contacted Leicestershire police with this information. During that time I spoke to all my family members who were with me on the night of 3rd May 2007 about this and the only one who felt the same way as me was my wife. She had seen the video clip of Gerard McCann walking down the stairs of the plane earlier that day. We did not discuss this until some days later. This statement has been read over to me and is correct.”


There is some controversy about the Smith sighting, see Open details Section.