SUPPORTERS of the mother of lost-and-found schoolgirl Shannon Matthews have moved a tree in fear that it would be vandalised.
The pretty flowering pink Magnolia tree was planted in a Come Home ceremony for Shannon on March 19, just five days after she was discovered under a bed at the home of Mick Donovan.
But locals, including best friend Petra Jamieson, 30, fear the tree and surrounding purple, white and yellow pansies planted in Shannon’s garden would come under attack from people in the community who are angry after the arrest of mother-of-seven Karen Matthews, 33.
The move came after police boarded up the house to protect it while it lays empty.
Petra said: “We asked the police if we could move the tree because we didn't want anything to happen to it. I know people are angry at Karen, but this is Shannon's tree and she is the innocent one in the middle of all this.
"It has now been moved to Westborough High School. The school is not connected to Shannon at all."
All that remains now is a patch of mud where it was surrounded by 40 wellwishers in the original ceremony, led by the local vicar.
Karen Matthews is now in custody facing trial for perverting the course of justice and child neglect.
There were reports at the weekend that she is being kept in isolation at Flockton’s New Hall prison.
Her partner, Craig Meehan, 22, is also in custody facing trial for charges of possessing child porn.