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The journalist Mark Williams-Thomas has revealed his theory about what happened to Madeleine McCann, 10 years after her disappearance aged three from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.
The reporter, who visited the town in the Algarve days after the youngster went missing in 2007, aired his views today on This Morning.
Although Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate, have never given up hope, the girl, who has a distinctive blemish in her right eye, has never been found.
Detectives are currently said to be working on a theory that she was kidnapped by a European trafficking gang.
“It’s such a well trodden story by so many and such a difficult story to tell now because there are so many legal implications,” Williams-Thomas told This Morning.
“On that morning of Madeline’s disappearance, we do know she went to [her parents] Gerry and Kate and said: ‘Where were you last night?’” he explained.
“Because we know the twins did wake up on days prior to her disappearance.
“And I think as a result of that, Madeline was clearly aware they were in the tapas bar that was in the resort.
“Now the interesting element in that is in order to get to the tapas bar you had to actually come out of the premises, walk on a public road to go back in again.
“And that raises a concern I have in regards to Madeleine I believe woke up in the middle of the night, she went looking for Gerry and Kate and she left the apartment and went out.
“Because we know the patio door at the back was insecure.”
At some point, host Phillip Schofield explained to viewers that “legally” we’d have to leave that.
Madeline vanished from an apartment in Praia da Luz as her parents ate at a nearby tapas restaurant.
This week, Gerry and Kate McCann launched a new legal battle to overturn a Portuguese court ruling that failed to clear them of involvement in their daughter’s disappearance.
Using money from the “Find Madeleine” fund, the couple will attempt to overturn the ruling and challenge claims made by former police chief Goncalo Amaral.
Last month, Portugal’s Supreme Court rejected their libel appeal relating to Amaral’s book, “The Truth of the Lie”, which alleged they had faked their daughter’s abduction.
Mark Williams-Thomas is best known for exposing Jimmy Savile as a paedophile in The Other Side of Jimmy Savile.