Monday, 9 November 2009



You wrote in your messages to me: “If you want me to publish your side of it then I will do…” and “However, I said and I repeat that I am not going to take sides on this…Debbie Butler told me she is still the Chairwoman of the Madeleine Foundation, that she is perfectly ok with the website and that she wished for that story to go on there. I will post anything you like on there - as I will post anything Debbie requests”.If you are a man of your word, please publish my response here and the complete run of e-mails you sent me.You also said to me on 4 November (see below): “I strongly urge you not to air this dirty laundry in public. I will tell Debbie the same thing. It is destructive and pointless and it undoes some or all of the good work done in the past”.

And are your actions consistent with this statement of yours, Steve?
Well, you say ‘I am not going to take sides on this’. I now know what it’s like to be under ‘friendly fire’ - being shot at by your own side. That refers however to occasions where your own side accidentally and tragically fires on its own side. In this case, this is a case of deliberate, calculated, sustained and often malicious fire directed at me by a team of two - yourself and Debbie. Your very decision to post up an allegation of ‘serious fraud’ (and, yes, by the way, these are the very words Debbie used when she wrote to you) against me without first checking the facts with me is proof that you are far from being neutral as you claim. And of course as can be seen from visiting the pro-McCann forums, the allegations levelled against me and then ‘The Sun’ article have provided cause for heartfelt celebration, rejoicing and cheering in the McCann camp. But then both of you knew that would happen, didn’t you?Incidentally, since Wednesday (5th) November you have blocked me (and Grenville Green) from visiting your website. People keep e-mailing me telling me about further accusations against me on your site which I cannot even see for myself. That is unfair. I would prefer you to stop publishing these unfounded allegations. But if you insist on doing so, at least let me see what they are so that I can respond. I need to see all the new allegations that people say you are publishing on your site.It is a time-consuming exercise to answer several mails point by point. Some fellow committee members have advised me to make no response at all. However, you have been loudly proclaiming that my ‘failure to reply’ is significant etc. so in effect you force me to reply to each and every allegation you and Debbie made.Even tonight there are new allegations, which have been reported to me by visitors to your site. You claim for example that I’ve fiddled the income figures for booklet sales because 3,000 booklets x £3 of £4 equals £9,000 or £12,000. But what do you know about how many booklets were given away free, including many by Debbie herself. What do you know of the several sales we made by bulk - people buying 100 or more at £1 per book? Or of the ones sent free to members of the House of Lords, to media editors and journalists and other opinion formers. You don’t, do you? In your thirst to attack, you question everything and you denigrate everything.
To put a cap on this, I am not going to respond to more and more questions, especially as you are not a member. It would be unreasonable of me to do so, given that I believe, as do so many other kind people who’ve written to me in the past 48 hours, that you are not interested in the truth here, you are not genuinely trying to get at the facts, but are conducting a character assassination prompted by your friend Debbie whose very allegation you seem to believe. A great deal of mud has been thrown at me by you and Debbie, and to the satisfaction of those who back the McCanns, her accusations have eagerly been blown out of all proportion by two of the media to suggest that I have salted away £90,000 of donations really intended to help to find Madeleine. That is what the two of you have achieved. But when any enquiries are carried out, and nothing remotely improper is found, the mud on me will have dried off and been brushed away. But people will remember with little short of contempt those who threw the mud in the first place. I am going to post here all the e-mails sent by you since 3 November so that people can see for themselves that I am not evading any allegation against me. I will reply to each and every one below, then reproduce the run of emails between us.
A. The website at
You know that on 2 October Debbie and I agreed to close the above website. We acceded to the demands of Carter-Ruck. Debbie did so, like myself, after hearing what the lawyers had to say. I put no pressure on her whatsoever to sign the letter to carter-Ruck. She could have refused at that point if she’d wanted to. I then sent you the text of a brief message to be put up on the site. You responded by asserting, incorrectly by the way, that you ‘owned’ the site, said you would rename it ‘The website formerly known as The Madeleine Foundation’, and promptly did so. The website fees, domain name and hosting fees etc, were paid by us and it was clearly understood on all sides as The Madeleine Foundation.Since then, on your own admission below, Debbie has sought to undo that undertaking. That places both herself and me at risk of libel proceedings, especially since in a letter dated 23 October Carter-Ruck accused me of ‘deliberate collusion’ with you to maintain the site. That was before they read your disclaimer, put up at my request, that your site was no longer a Madeleine Foundation site. You have since decided for your own reasons to remove that disclaimer, so that now, new visitors to the site think that it is indeed the website of The Madeleine Foundation when it is not.And what a sorry state that website has got into over the past few weeks since you took overall control over it. One of your two lead articles is about unproven (even if possibly true) allegations of molesting a young boy against a dead man, the late Greville Janner M.P. It is hard to see the relevance of that to uncovering the truth about what really happened to Madeleine McCann. The other lead article is a publication of Debbie’s outrageous, exaggerated and totally unsubstantiated claims of ‘serious fraud’ on the accounts of The Madeleine Foundation, with a string of comments that would surely put off most visitors from ever having anything to do with the Foundation. Prior to then, we had many good quality articles and documents like our long letter to Gordon Brown visible on our site, which as you know attracted much favourable comment from new visitors. It is literally a crying shame what has happened to that website in recent weeks.
It was necessary to quote a small part of your email to me to Carter-Ruck as they were directly accusing me of colluding with you to maintain the site as a Madeleine Foundation site when clearly this was not the case. You said I quoted unnecessary details about the agreement between yourself and us when the website was set up. I provided brief accurate details, sufficient to inform people that you agreed at the outset to maintain The Madeleine Foundation site at our direction, and that we had paid the fees you required. That is all. Do not see why you object to that.You said: “Post Kirwans, I was getting instruction from you and instruction from Debbie on what to do with the website. I was caught firmly in the middle and I like both you and Debbie. Your instructions were one thing and hers were the opposite. I was trying to make the best of a rift between you and her”. I agree that that put you in a difficult position. But you knew that by not closing the website or by not immediately removing any allegedly libellous content on it that you were risking Carter-Ruck proceeding to issue a libel writ. Didn’t you? And you knew that Debbie was going against the agreement she and I had made with Carter-Ruck.You refer to statements I have made about setting up a new website. The Carter-Ruck demand was specific: “To permanently suspend the website at”. That does not in any way inhibit us from setting up a new website in furtherance of our aims as set out in our Constitution. That is what we are currently discussing. You mention my seeking an alternative webmaster by contacting an American lady prior to October. This was because I had less and less confidence that you were operating the website to our directions. An example was the Mike Gunnill article you posted on our website (never mind the alternative website about him that you set up which also caused us problems). Your Gunnill article on our website caused us a lot of trouble. You did not seek my consent before posting it. I had to order you to take it down. We wanted a webmaster who did not act independently and without authority just when he felt like it.
B. The 4 ‘blank cheques’ – and the handwritten note
Before answering, I have received in the past two days these unsolicited e-mails from two different people (I think one of them was published on your website) about the practice of signing a blank cheque where the signatories live far apart:(1) As to the four pre-signed cheques let me assure you Steve it happens all the time. As a matter of convenience people often pre-sign the cheques. While it is not advisable to do so it is not fraudulent or dishonest. It is only dishonest if the cheques are used for a purpose not intended or proper. If Debbie was doing her job properly she would have simply refused to sign them.(2) First, I noticed a copy of a hand-written note on the MF web site, which I didn't look at too closely as I don't care to spend much time on that site. I assume it's a note from you, asking for four cheques, "proof," from Debbie about your guilt. I used to be involved with the Women's Aid Federation, as a regional treasurer and again as a regional coordinator. In both roles, I was responsible for quite a lot of WA's money and since the other signatories didn't live anywhere near me, I used to have a pile, literally, of signed cheques so that I could pay out, for myself, or others, without having to wait days for the post. It's common practice in any organisation where two signatures are required and the signatories aren't in close contact.Debbie will have to confirm, if she is honest, that this is the practice we adopted from the beginning. She herself suggested signing two, three or four cheques in advance purely for ease of administration and avoiding cheques going to and for in the post.You have asked what they were for. One was to pay an immediate bill I had already incurred on 3 October 2009 for the room and meals at the Cardiff meeting. As Debbie never returned any of the four cheques, the £105 I paid for that remains an outstanding expense claim of mine against The Foundation. The others were indeed I anticipation of further bills e.g. for printing and also the occasional refund I had to make where people had overpaid for their booklet orders.By the way, the handwritten note, which Debbie photographed and sent you is only a small part of a letter, I sent her. She has deliberately cut off that part of my letter where I explained that not only was I sending her back the £350 she had initially loaned to the Foundation so that the booklets could be printed, but I also added on a further £150 for back postage expenses which was an estimate of the minimum she was entitled to. I sent her a cheque for £500 which she cashed. I did not ask to see all her receipts as at that point there continued to be so far as I was concerned a relationship of 100% trust on both sides. So why did she cut off that part of my letter before she photographed it and send it to you?
C. Here is the e-mail exchange earlier on 7 October 2009:
1. DEBBIE TO TONY--- On Wed, 7/10/09, DEBORAH BUTLER <
Date: Wednesday, 7 October, 2009, 11:26 AM
Dear Tony , I hope you have a good holiday with your Mother and she gets to see all the people that she wanted to .
I am wondering if it is possible for you to send me a cheque for the amount I contributed to the initial print run of the booklets ? I have a project in mind that I need to begin asap and this would come in handy for me to put the money towards as it is quite costly , I will inform you in person with the details !
Best wishes

Hi Debbie,
Yes, I can send a cheque, of course.I can't remember the actual amount you paid, do you have a record please? - I have an idea it was £600, or maybe £400 or £300.Also, would this be a good time for you to claim all your outstanding postal expenses, envelopes, other stationery costs etc.? - which I would really like you to have in full. It must be another £200 or maybe quite a bit more.If by any chance I don't hear from you, I will post you a signed cheque for £600.00 1st class tonight before post goes at 5.30pm, but if you need more please say so.Debbie, is it possible for you to send me a couple of signed cheques back to me in the post while I'm away, I may have to make two or three payments on behalf of MF in the next few days and weeks. I'll send you a few blank ones to sign. Also, we will need to talk when I get back about holding an Annual General Meeting.I've decided to post a copy of the Constitution on the MM thread on the MF; it's not a secret. I expect some people will pull it apart but it's very much a standard type of constitution for a club/society.Better than thinking we've got something to hide.Loads of interesting messages coming in and support as usual. I have not yet had any further letter from Carter-Ruck after my long letter sent to them on Sunday.
Cheque will be posted before 5.30pm tonight, 1st class, envelope all ready to sendPost is O.K. - everything is explained in my letter
RE STEVE: Yes have been in touch about some practical issues - all fine (he's so happy he's now in full control of the website!) - but have no idea if he's still coming to England.
D. Kirwans
The initial letter to Debbie Butler from Nick Mason of Kirwans on 21 November talked about the possibility of their helping us on a pro-bono basis. Nothing more than a possibility. That then changed to ‘possibly’ on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, whatever that means in a case of libel proceedings. During our 4-hour long meeting, Debbie and I conceded, however reluctantly, that we had no realistic alternative but to accede to Carter-Ruck’s demands. Having conceded that, Kirwans offered to settle the terms of any written agreement with Carter-Ruck for a fee of £5,000 plus VAT, to be paid upfront. Both of us agreed that we could not afford this either from Madeleine Foundation funds or from our own resources. It became clear during our meeting that Kirwans had spent a lot of time at Senior Partner level both exploring representation by a barrister and trying to bring about, through insurance companies, a ‘no win, no fee’ basis for representing us. They had not succeeded. It was also clear that Senior Partner Michael Sandys has carried out a careful, forensic analysis of ‘60 Reasons’ which had taken him some time. I think it is possible to argue that we were not strictly under a legal obligation to pay them a penny and should have paid them nothing. However, Debbie and I both agreed that we should make a payment to Kirwans simply as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation, especially since we did get the benefit if top-level legal advice on this occasion, and they had written a couple of letters to Carter-Ruck for us. Debbie herself came up with the figure of £500, and as I had the MF chequebook with me, we signed there and then, handed the cheque to them and I obtained a receipt for our records. You refer to our ‘accelerated capitulation’. Just as I did, Debbie heard the words: “Libel law is uncertain. Libel law is complex. No-one can confidently predict the outcome of a libel writ. Even if you cannot fully prove one single sentence or statement in your booklet or on your website, you may be found guilty of libel. You have made a very serious allegation in your book and on your website, namely that the McCanns know what happened to Madeleine and are deliberately covering it up. Carter-Ruck charge fees of £500 an hour and you both face financial ruin”. Up against that top-level legal advice, I made my decision to accede.You mentioned this in one of your emails: “After Kirwan's lambasting email vowing to never work with you because you were arrogant, the next day there was a miraculous turnaround after you had allegedly spoken to David Kirwan”. I know nothing about this and I understand that you somehow got involved in correspondence with Kirwans and that this e-mail was sent to you. All I recollect is that I had two or three conversations with David Kirwan on a mobile ’phone whilst I was walking in Northumberland and these were about fixing a date for a meeting and also authorising him to write a letter to Carter-Ruck explaining that we needed more time in which to take expert legal advice.
E. Membership list
You said: “You have often cited ‘many MF members think the same as you’ but when asked to provide names you fail to deliver them”.
MY RESPONSE: I am not going to disclose the identities of members and what they say to me and other Committee members to a non-member. Debbie first asked for the membership list around 30 October 2009. By then it was crystal clear that she was engaged, for whatever reason, in an increasingly bitter vendetta against me and moreover that her contacts with Clarence Mitchell, Adrian Upshon and others had been greater than I had realised. No way was Debbie going to be given the membership list under those circumstances.I add here for the record two e-mails sent by me to Debbie on 27 and 28 October:
27 OctoberDebbie, Madeleine Foundation
I think it would help a great deal if you could say what you want to happen to the Madeleine Foundation.Maybe you want me simply to resign.Maybe you think it should be dissolved?Can you at least put a proposal on the table?Many members want us to carry on and are looking forward to a constructive meeting on 14 November.I am willing to consider even:Allowing you and your followers to keep with the Madeleine Foundation, its name etc., whilst those of us who want to go a different way might reform under a new name. An arrangement could be worked out re splitting what funds we've accumulated so far.We have 30 or 40 members and we must hold an AGM or similar meeting for them. Should we compose a joint letter to them bringing them up to date and if so setting out how you and I differ about the future?Please let me know.Some of what you wrote on MM last night was very hard to take but I can forgive and forget, even though your last words to me last night were: "I will go against you".I must tell you once again that you are 100% wrong that I'd made up my mind before going to Liverpool and I really hoped Kirwans would be up for a fight against the McCanns and Carter-Ruck. But you heard the same words as I did from David Kirwan and Michael Sandys:"You could face financial ruin""6 to 12 sentences in this book might be regarded as libellous if you can't strictly prove the truth of what you assert""Libel law is complex""Libel law is uncertain".And so on.Make no mistake, they advised us both in strong terms not to risk it.I may have many faults but I did not have my mind made up before travelling to Liverpool nor did we travel in one car for the reason you suggest.You and I have helped each other to do more than most to get at the truth of what really happened to Madeleine.Please suggest practical solutions for how you, me and the Madeleine Foundation move on from here.
28 October
I have your two texts.If you ask me to, I shall be happy to continue representing you re 'The Express' etc. with the PCC, but it would help a great deal if you would cease the attacks on me on MM and if we could meet to discuss a way forward for The Madeleine Foundation.As regards Carter-Ruck, I'll be replying to them later in the week and will copy my letter to you. It'll be up to you whether you want to make the same concessions as I have made. They said they would be writing a separate letter to you.Tony
NOTE: No reply came from Debbie to either of those two e-mails.
F. Travelling to Liverpool in my car
Steve wrote: “Debbie said that whenever you travelled anywhere, it was either in her car or your car but she paid the petrol expenses out of her own pocket i.e. rather than with MF funds. Is this correct?”
No. We each paid our own petrol expenses and no claim was made on the funds.Steve wrote: “If so, how can you state that you went in one vehicle to Liverpool to save expenses? How did that save your petrol expense if her allegation is correct?”Her allegation, like many others she makes, is not correct. You are far too ready to believe everything she says, Steve.
G. Two cheques, for £822.50 on 7 August and £800.00 on 30 September.
I understand that Debbie Butler has claimed she knows nothing about these two cheques.Some brief points in reply.No money can leave the account without both of us signing a cheque or withdrawal form. Debbie knows about both cheques but claims ignorance about them. She signed both cheques.On your website today, you make these statements: “Tony hasn’t responded to Debbie’s questions and requests to supply more information…As Tony hasn’t been forthcoming with the information there’s no other way”.That is wholly and maliciously untrue. If she ever had any queries about them, she never raised them with me, before going public with her wild claims about ‘serious fraud’ etc. Debbie will not for example be able to produce any e-mail enquiring about either cheque as she made no enquiry. If she had enquired, I would have given her a full answer.In relation to the two cheques, the first one included £387.50 paid on my personal credit card for the costs of hiring a room at a local hotel for our conference on 1 August, the rest was mainly postage and stationery. The cheque on 30 September was mainly for arrears of postage expenses up to 30 September, but also included the sum of £245 paid by me in cash to Vera Steinke to fund the printing of 250 copies of ‘60 Reasons’ in German (which has now been done and the booklet is being sold in Germany). All of this information and associated receipts would have been shown to Debbie if she had asked. But she did not ask.I might add that due to Debbie’s increasingly erratic performance in not fulfilling orders received via PayPal. I had no alternative earlier in the year but to fully take over that side of the operation. She always assured me that she had fulfilled orders and that ‘the booklets must have got lost in the post’ but I am not sure about that. I had to write letters of apology to quite a number of customers about the non-receipt of booklets which Debbie was supposed to have sent out. I have the e-mails to prove this. There was then a major surge in orders for the booklet in August, with several hundred orders including many from abroad, which caused the large postage expenses for which I claimed on 30 September and for which receipts are available.
H. The decision to expel Debbie Butler
New Committee members were appointed at a members’ meeting on 3 October in Cardiff when Debbie was not present. That Committee had no alternative but to expel Debbie from membership when she manifestly brought The Madeleine Foundation into disrepute. She is no longer the Chairman of MF.I. Law SocietyFriends have told me that on your website you have made statements to the effect that ‘Tony has a history of and was found guilty of these kind of ethics violations by the Law Society’.Just to make it clear here that we are talking about one Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal here, held in 2003, which covered two incidents in 1993 and 1997 respectively. One was the failure to reply to a letter from someone who had what as I’m afraid a hopeless case to take to the European Court of Human Rights. I should have answered her letter. The other was in relation to a person who sought legal advice from me in my then capacity of Legal adviser to Parents Aid. I made a modest charge to him for a large amount of work and then introduced him to the firm I was working for at the time. This was a breach of Law Society rules as I was not covered by legal indemnity insurance for advice given outside my employment. That is all.
J. Tracy
You mention Tracy. She, and one or two others, still have stocks of ‘60 Reasons’ which they want to give away or sell. I can hardly take them to court over it. One of the consequences of the McCanns effectively banning ‘60 Reasons’ is that more people want to know what’s in it. That’s why Wikileaks, based in Berlin, has a copy of not only that but also the ‘10 Reasons’ leaflet on its site. So does the site and a number of others. This has all happened without my consent and indeed I would contend that it is a breach of my copyright in the book. But there is nothing practical I can do about it without conducting expensive and uncertain litigation. Anyway, you removed ‘60 Reasons’ the book from sale on your website three weeks ago.
Tony to Steve, 4 Nov, 9.06am
Subject: Debbie - no longer an MF MemberFrom: ANTHONY BENNETT Date: Wed, November 04, 2009 9:06 am
In view largely of Debbie's sustained personal and very public attack on me, which has included many untruths, but also because of deep suspicions about her frequent 'phone calls to Clarence Mitchell and Adrian Upshon, the content of which she has not disclosed to us, the MF Committee has had no alternative but to expel her from membership for bringing MF into disrepute, which we have now done. She has the right of appeal.It follows that the Contact page on your website is now inaccurate. If you wish to continue referring people to The Madeleine Foundation, please give out my contact details.We would also request once again that you remove all ambiguity, which might suggest that The Madeleine Foundation is in any way in control of your site or has any connection with it.Thanks.
Tony [copied to the Committee]
STEVE TO TONY, 4 Nov, 1.00pm
Tony,I have been so busy with the book in the past 2 weeks I haven't had a chance to read any forums. This morning there were emails from you and Debbie on this topic and quite frankly it's all shocking. I took all your stuff off the website at and renamed it the New Madeleine Foundation. I never heard back from you since you last wrote but I would make these comments and observations;
1. I never gave you permission to forward to Carter Ruck my email to you where I spelled out the 4 options on what to do with the website. That was very disappointing but you can't un-fry an egg so there was little I could do and as I said, I've been very busy with the book. You should have responded to me first.
2. Many times you will write what should be private correspondence and then will go posting it on public forums and blogs when it probably isn't appropriate. A case in point is the PCC and Express complaint letters you posted in the now defunct 3As forum.
3. When you came back from Kirwans you posted many threads where you included references to me and unnecessary details of our arrangements in creating and administering the website. Again, I saw no good reason for you to have to tell the world all this minutiae.
4. Post Kirwans, I was getting instruction from you and instruction from Debbie on what to do with the website. I was caught firmly in the middle and I like both you and Debbie. Your instructions were one thing and hers were the opposite. I was trying to make the best of a rift between you and her.
5. Many times you have referred to the many MF members who were dismayed that the website was still up and running. Debbie on the other hand (and many MF members - including Grenville) were continually saying they thought it was great the site was still running.
6. From the correspondence forwarded to me this morning and from what I can make out reading between the lines, Debbie has asked you many times for a full membership list of the MF but you haven't supplied this. Can I ask why?
7. Another email I got this morning stated something about 4 blank cheques. Now I've been a director of a few UK companies. I can state that signing blank cheques is folly and totally unacceptable and if that practice has been done in the past it is no defence to carrying on that practice in the future. I don't know whether it was you or Debbie who suggested it in the first place but the whole point of multiple signatories is one of financial protection. Again, I ask, what were you and/or Debbie thinking of with that policy?
8. If 60-Reasons is still available from Tracy?, I am puzzled why you allow that and participate in that. On the one hand you tell me to remove the website carte blanche yet you continue to allow the book to be sold under your nose (and you participate in its sale!) What is going on? How can you tell me that we're in potential violation of Carter Ruck's demands but you flaunt your book and don't follow through with that side of their demands and your "alleged" accession?I'd rather not get embroiled in this Tony but I would like you to answer my questions above or I'll be as much in the dark as I have been since the pair of you left Kirwans. I don't want to take sides or become an adjudicator but there are clearly some irregularities from my observations. Any one of those irregularities can cause exactly what we're seeing.However, I would say this in summary. I strongly urge you not to air this dirty laundry in public. I will tell Debbie the same thing. It is destructive and pointless and it undoes some or all of the good work done in the past.
STEVE TO TONY, 4 Nov, 1.02pm
I meant to comment on the phone calls to Clarence Mitchell and Adrian Upshon.Whether they are classifiable as bringing the MF into disrepute I have no idea but I do think it is very odd to be calling two of the main protagonists.I have no idea why Debbie should be or would want to talk to those individuals alone. That is a mystery I agree.
SteveNov 4, 2.17pm
Tony,In my previous emails I said I didn't want to get embroiled in your falling out with Debbie. And I don't, but I just read a lengthy Word document penned by you that she had forwarded to me this morning. I'm currently getting around 300 emails a day at the moment so I hadn't noticed that one when I wrote to you earlier.Anyway, as you unleashed a can of worms, I will comment because there are many things that aren't making sense;
1. Kirwans was always intending to act for you and Debbie on a pro-bono basis. When you were on your holiday in the north of England and Kirwan couldn't contact you to talk to you on the phone because you were at Hadrian's Wall, he wrote me a lengthy message where if I said he was pissed off at you that would be an understatement. In that email from Kirwan, he stated quite clearly the pro-bono basis. Why then did you pay Kirwan 500 pounds? Debbie has no idea why you did that and neither do I.
2. If Kirwans never appeared you already had correspondence prepared to send to C-R. You were quite confidently appearing in Internet blogs willing to take on that fight. You knew that a libel defense would be costly. You didn't miraculously discover that fact by driving up to Liverpool. I'm not daft Tony and neither are you. Why then the accelerated capitulation?
3. After Kirwan's lambasting email vowing to never work with you because you were arrogant, the next day there was a miraculous turnaround after you had allegedly spoken to David Kirwan.
4. No sooner were you back home that you wrote in the MM forum all manner of postings including details of our financial arrangements in creating the website and you even mentioned creating a new website and requested help doing so.
5. I asked you how you could claim to accede to the demands of C-R and be talking about creating a new website for the Madeleine Foundation. You failed to give a logical or satisfactory reason for that - which has only intensified confusion among many forum readers and people who email me asking the same question. The prima facie evidence is that you (you personally) did not want the present website as opposed to wanting to accede to that portion of C-R's demands. You have often cited "many MF members think the same as you" but when asked to provide names you fail to deliver them.
6. Further circumstantial evidence of (5) is that you had in the month prior to Kirwans' involvement been asking some other lady in the US to "take over" the running of the present website. And you publicly made forum posts alluding to the same thing. You even started to include Val/Photon in those discussions. Val/Photon was never anyone involved in the MF and yet you started to confide many details in her. It doesn't help in trying to discount the conspiracy theories in that Val/Photon is in an environment rife with Freemasonry or that you sent email to her from David Kastoryano's home. And who did you send my considerable research on Ian West to without permission? Val/Photon. Tony, Val/Photo/Sluming is involved in MRI scanning. Did it not occur to you that she may be on the "other" side?
7. Debbie said that whenever you travelled anywhere, it was either in her car or your car but she paid the petrol expenses out of her own pocket i.e. rather than with MF funds. Is this correct? If so, how can you state that you went in one vehicle to Liverpool to save expenses? How did that save your petrol expense if her allegation is correct?
8. Kirwan allegedly mentioned requiring 5000 pounds as a retainer. Again, why a retainer when he'd be pro-bono? Things like this and your paying them 500 quid all happened in the last days of dealing with DK. Prior to that there was no mention of money (apart from expenses only I was told by DB). Things like this were what prompted me to ask if you were being blackmailed.
9. The part of the constitution of the MF that you cite to remove Debbie from the MF states "Board of Directors". Debbie is a Director isn't she? Any reasonable examination of the MF would conclude that Debbie as Chairperson is a Director but you as Secretary cannot be a Director. In a company in the UK, a Director and Secretary are two legally different entities. Was she included in the board meeting to have her expulsed? Sorry Tony but that sounds like nothing more than a kangaroo court. You are a man who comes across as a bastion for democracy but to have a meeting of a board of directors where the main director (Debbie) was neither invited nor included is just wrong and breaks all the rules in the book.I will say again that you included me on things I didn't want to be bothered with. I hope you respect that because you included me, I anticipate proper answers to my own points in this and my previous emails today.
STEVE TO TONY, 4 Nov, 2.51pm
Tony,In your Word document/letter to Debbie I draw your attention to this paragraph:
RESPONSE by Tony: Just to make these simple points clear. Contrary to the suggestion Debbie seems to have put about, no cheques can be signed unless both of us sign; the bank account is therefore under our joint control. Second, right from the word go, Debbie has signed one or two cheques in advance on the basis of trust. No cheque has been signed without both of us agreeing to pay it.This reply is patently absurd.If you asked Debbie to sign blank cheques and send them to you with no recipient or amount filled in then what does your reply mean?Two signatures means two people see the amount to be paid and then they both sign to confirm the amount to be spent. One signatory signing a blank cheque and giving it to the other signatory is tantamount to fraud.
STEVE TO TONY. 5 Nov, 2.24pm
Tony,I said yesterday that I didn't want to be involved in this. I also sent you several emails asking some questions which I thought you would have had the decency to have answered.Time cannot have been a factor because your answers would have required less typing than there is below. But you haven't responded to me and I'm mystified why. I like you, we've got on well in the past two years and all of a sudden your behaviour has put it mildly, "bizarre".However, I said and I repeat that I am not going to take sides on this. If you want me to publish your side of it then I will do. Debbie Butler told me she is still the Chairwoman of the Madeleine Foundation, that she is perfectly ok with the website and that she wished for that story to go on there. I will post anything you like on there - as I will post anything Debbie requests.Can you specify what is libelous about the short story? Your heading here is wrong. The article does not accuse you of fraud - serious or otherwise.I have no intentions whatsoever to destroy anyone. I am running a website for the Madeleine Foundation. I am getting two sides of this - please understand my position. How do I know you are any more right or wrong than she is? She claims to be the Madeleine Foundation chairperson and you say you sacked her. How do I know? Debbie is or was a director of the Madeleine Foundation. She says she was not involved in any decision to fire her. How then can the meeting to oust her have been done in accordance with any regulations, policies or procedures?
On Steve’s website 7 Nov:
Stevo: I am not saying that signing blank cheques doesn’t happen within certain organisations but Debbie says it has never happened before and there are amounts of money gone out of the account with cheque numbers beside them on the bank statement. If she knows she never signed them then who did?So to answer your point, Debbie has got perfectly reasonable grounds to suspect something amiss – certainly as TB tried to oust her at the same time it was discovered. I don’t want to sound disrespectful but I wish people would read all the posts. It wasn’t just 4 blank cheques that caused all this.


PCC Allegation from Tony Bennett
Written by Chaos Engine Tuesday, 10 November 2009 17:59
The Madeleine Foundation - articles in ‘The Sun’ and ‘The People’ 7 and 8 November:

The police never even gave Ms Butler’s complaints an incident number - they dismissed her complaint as a malicious fabrication within 20 minutes. There is no police investigation. There never were fraud officers involved. The Press Complaints Commission has been informed and a vigorous complaint against ‘The Sun’ and ‘The People’ has been made - Tony BennettI sent the following e-mail to Pippa Taylor, Kent Police Media Relations Officer at Maidstone, today (10 November) at around 1.45pm.


Dear Pippa Taylor - copied as shown,I have tried to telephone you regarding a report in 'The Sun' on Saturday that there was an investigation already under way, presumably by fraud officers as that is what their report said, I have left messages but not got a call back yet.'The People' then built on that news report by making a specific allegation in Sunday's newspaper that I had received £90,000 worth of donations really intended for the McCanns' fund to help find Madeleine.The specific information I require is:

1. Is there an incident number yet, if so what is it?

2. Is there a crime reference number yet, if so what is it?

3. Is the matter with Fraud Officers? and

4. Who is the Senior/Investigating Officer?In addition I give the following particulars, which I would ask you to pass to the Investigating Officer without delay:

1. There is not a shred of truth in the allegations of fraud within The Madeleine Foundation

2. The allegations were made by our embittered former Chairman Ms D Butler following our expulsion of her from membership on 3 November 2009 for bringing The Madeleine Foundation into disrepute

3. No donation has ever been made to The Madeleine Foundation by anyone who thought they would be giving money to the McCanns' search for Madeleine. Until we lost control of our former website on 2 October 2009, there was a prominent disclaimer on the front page of our website which read: "This website has no connection whatsoever with the Doctors' McCann's ongoing fund-raising to search for Madeleine",

4. Officers of The Madeleine Foundation wish to make a statement to Kent Police regarding an allegation that Ms Butler is guilty of wasting police time

5. You will no doubt be aware that officers from Kent Police visited Ms Butler's home on 26 October 2009 in connection with an alleged campaign of harassment by her against a photographer, Mike Gunnill

6. The books of The Madeleine Foundation, receipts, bank records etc. are an open book and available for inspection at any reasonable time should you actually be investigating a complaint.At this stage we are not sure if Ms Butler's complaint has even got to the stage of being a Crime Reference Number or even an Incident Number.I await hearing from you.Yours sincerely
Tony Bennett
Secretary The Madeleine Foundation
01279 635789Mobile 07835 716537

At 3.15pm today, Sergeant Ryder from Kent Police telephoned me and gave me the following information, which I try to reproduce verbatim so far as I can:


“Mr Bennett, I’ve been forwarded an email you sent to Pippa Taylor today.“I have some good news for you. I want to put this as sensitively and delicately as I can. My assessment from the tone and manner with which Ms Butler made her allegations was that there were underlying motivations and issues concerning Ms Butler and I concluded that she was acting out of malice. She gibbered for about 20 minutes and made various allegations. She said that the fraud was so serious that it would take the police ‘weeks’ to investigate. It took me less than 20 minutes to decide that I was not going to take any action, and I told Ms Butler that I was not going to take any action. By the way we do know about the complaints against her by Mike Gunnill which we also investigate and that was a factor I took into account in making my decision .The matter has not been crimed, it was never passed to our Crime Investigation Team and certainly never went to any Fraud Officers. There will be no further action. Had we begun an investigation and discovered there was nothing in it, Ms Butler would certainly have been prosecuted for wasting police time. As it took up only 20 minutes of police time, we won’t be prosecuting her for that”.UNQUOTE

The matter is now in the hands of the Press Complaints Committee.

Tony Bennett, 5pm, 10 November

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