Karen Matthews, mother of Shannon Matthews, was charged with child neglect for setting up the abduction of her own daughter [Getty]
Karen Matthews shocked the UK in 2008 when it emerged she’d staged the disappearance of her own daughter, then nine-year-old Shannon Matthews.
Allegedly in order to reap the hefty rewards money for finding the missing child.
Recently, BBC One drama The Moorside retold the story of the estate that pulled together to lead their own investigation to track down one of their community’s children, she’s back in the public eye.
And now Channel 5 are set to follow up with story with a documentary tonight (Wednesday November 8, 2017) shining a light on Karen’s side of the high-profile story.
The new documentary airs tonight (Thursday April 6, 2017) on Channel 5 at 10PM.
The hour long insight interviews friends and family of Karen to give a more personal account of what happened back in 2008.
People like Julie Bushby, who was played by Sheridan Smith in The Moorside, open up in the footage.
Julie, who led the community campaign to find Shannon, explained she wants the mother-of-seven to go under a lie detector test, believing more people were involved with the staged kidnap.
The Moorside on BBC: Sheridan Smith, Sian Brooke and Gemma Whelan star as Julie Bushby Natalie Brown and Karen Matthews in the two part drama [BBC]
Gemma Whelan gave a creepily convincing performance as Karen in the series.
Sheridan Smith, who played Karen’s best pal Julie Bushby, was particularly praised in her ‘scarily accurate’ portrayal in episode one of the two part drama.
If you know the true story of what really happened to Shannon Matthews, you’ll remember that Karen and her partner Craig Meehan’s uncle Michael Donovan were eventually outed for what they, tragically, really did to the little girl.
Here’s what actually happened to Karen Matthews after her crime came to light.
Karen Matthews was arrested in 2008 for her crime against daughter Shannon Matthews [Getty]
After being found guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice, mum-of-seven Karen was sentenced to eight years in prison.
In the Leeds Crown Court where the trial took place, a judge described the nature of the crime committed be her and Michael Donovan as “truly despicable”.
Karen served just four years of her sentence behind bars, being released in April 2012.
The Moorside drama stars Gemma Whelan as Karen Matthews and Sheridan Smith as Julie Bushby [BBC]
Now out of prison, Shannon’s mum has reportedly made big life changes upon her release.
She’s reported to have converted to Christianity and is tee-total, according to The Mirror.
The paper also reports Karen previously told a friend she needs plastic surgery to get through day-to-day life.
Previously living in the estate in Yorkshire, the ex-convict now lives in the southern region of England.
Karen Matthews was pictured not long after Shannon for found alve [Getty]
One day after the drama aired on Tuesday February 6, 2017, Karen was pictured heading to her work in a charity shop.
Karen is said to survive off benefits, not being able to get a job due to her history and public sentence. According to The Sun, she told friends that benefits cuts had hit her hard.
Karen, who has been dubbed the ‘most hated mum in Britain’ still protests her innocence.
She has also reportedly changed her name.
18-year-old Shannon, who is protected from being contacted through a special order, is now living with a new family.
She has no contact with her mother.