The mother of Dewsbury girl Shannon Matthews has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged in connection with the alleged abduction of her daughter.

Karen Matthews, 32, was remanded until April 16 after a short hearing at Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court today.

She was arrested on Sunday evening and has been charged with perverting the course of justice and child neglect.

Shannon vanished on 19 February and was found 24 days later after one of the largest missing person searches conducted in our area.

Matthews was driven into the back of Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court.

More than a dozen police officers were stationed outside the vehicle entrance to the court as the white  vehicle swept into the complex almost without slowing down.

The van drove in quickly as a large media contingent watched, but there were no members of the public present. It disappeared from view almost immediately as steel shutters were brought down behind it.

Peter Mann, spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "We have carefully considered all of the evidence in the file and decided there is sufficient evidence to charge Karen Matthews with perverting the course of justice and child neglect.

"We will continue to keep this case under constant review."