THE mother of kidnapped youngster Shannon Matthews is preparing for an early release from prison.
Reports say that Karen Matthews will be released from prison next April, having served just three years of an eight year sentence.
But reports say she’s planning to move to Cyprus with a wealthy admirer who has been writing to her at Foston Hall prison in Derbyshire.
Matthews’ admirer apparently started writing to her after seeing her photograph in a newspaper.
The 36-year-old was jailed in 2009 with co-accused Michael Donovan for kidnapping her own daughter Shannon for reward money.
But the mum of seven is terrified she’ll be recognised and attacked when she comes out, even though she has lost three stone and has dyed her hair while in prison.
Matthews will soon be allowed unsupervised trips out of jail, but when freed on licence she won’t be allowed to live abroad permanently and only shorter unsupervised trips abroad will be permitted.
The actions of Matthews and Donovan in 2008 led to a massive police search for schoolgirl Shannon, then aged nine.
It was in February 2008 the Westmoor Junior School pupil went missing on her way home from school.
In the early days 200 police officers were deployed to look for her, adding to the massive hunt underway by neighbours of the Matthews family.
Businesses and national newspapers put up a reward for information and her return.
But 24 days after she was reported missing she was found at a house in Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr.
She was hidden in the base of a bed. Matthews and Donovan had concocted a plot to secure reward cash stumped up by a sympathetic public.
In January 2009 Matthews and Donovan were sentenced to eight years for kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
The police operation and court case was estimated to have cost more than £3million.