THE mother of schoolgirl Shannon Matthews who went missing for 24 days has appeared in court charged with her kidnap and false imprisonment.
Karen Matthews, 33, appeared at Leeds Crown Court yesterday along with 40-year-old Michael Donovan who faces the same charges.
During a 20-minute pre-trial review, legal matters relating to the forthcoming trial were discussed by the prosecution and the defendants’ barrister.
Matthews and Donovan will go on trial on November 11 and the case is expected to last between three and four weeks.
Both defendants have already pleaded not guilty to the kidnap and false imprisonment of nine-year-old Shannon.
They also deny perverting the course of justice. Matthews also faces a child neglect charge.
Shannon disappeared on February 19 and was eventually discovered less than a mile from her home in Dewsbury Moor 24 days after she went missing.
Donovan, of Lidgate Gardens, Dewsbury, was arrested on March 14 after the schoolgirl was found in nearby Batley Carr.
Formerly known as Paul Drake, he is the uncle of Shannon’s stepfather, Craig Meehan.
Shannon vanished after going on a swimming trip.
Both defendants were remanded in custody following today’s hearing.