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A senior British police officer initially believed Gerry McCann might have been involved in his daughter Madeleine's disappearance, it was revealed yesterday.
Child protection expert Jim Gamble said he suspected Mr McCann and wife Kate 'from the very outset' – and even tried to get the father to 'do the right thing' and confess.
Head - Child - Exploitation - Online - Protection
But the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said he is now convinced the couple were innocent and devastated over their daughter.
In a new documentary about the three-year-old's disappearance during a family holiday in Portugal, the former officer described how he helped Mr McCann write an appeal to Madeleine's abductor, urging them to let the child go and hand themselves in.
Words - Mr - McCann
He said he hoped his words might prompt Mr McCann to act if he had been involved.
Mr Gamble said he advised Mr McCann write his appeal 'along the lines that sometimes people make terrible mistakes in life they never intended, but ultimately it's never too late to do the right thing'.
'But - Gerry - Way - Message - Something
'But in shaping that I was actually talking to Gerry. I think it was the only way of delivering that message or reflecting that thought – if something had happened, if it was a mistake, it's never too late to come out and stop all of this.'
The appeal was published on the McCanns' website in August 2007, three months after Madeleine vanished in May.
Mr - Gamble
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