British cop reveals he believed Gerry McCann was involved in Madeleine’s disappearance

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ENTERPRISE NEWS AND PICTURES 23/11/11 PIC SHOWS: Gerry and Kate McCann leave the High Court tonight after giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry. See story... Pic: Mark St George

Jim Gamble suspected Gerry and Kate McCann ‘from the very outset’ in new Netflix documentary but later believed they were innocent

A senior British police officer has revealed he initially believed Gerry McCann might have been involved in his daughter Madeleine’s disappearance, the Mail Online reports.

Child protection expert Jim Gamble said he suspected Mr McCann and wife Kate ‘from the very outset’ – and even tried to get Gerry McCann to ‘do the right thing’ and confess.

But the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said he is now convinced the couple were innocent and were really devastated over their daughter’s disappearance.

Mr Gamble said he advised Mr McCann write his appeal ‘along the lines that sometimes people make terrible mistakes in life they never intended, but ultimately it’s never too late to do the right thing’.

‘But in shaping that I was actually talking to Gerry. I think it was the only way of delivering that message or reflecting that thought – if something had happened, if it was a mistake, it’s never too late to come out and stop all of this.’

Mr Gamble said his initial suspicion of the McCanns was based on his experience as a police officer. He said: ‘Statistically it’s likely to be the parents or somebody who’s in close proximity with the child.’ But later knowledge of the case convinced him they were innocent.

Mr Gamble told a new Netflix documentary: ‘Now I don’t believe that Kate or Gerry McCann had anything to do with the fact their daughter has gone missing and potentially had been abducted.’

The McCanns, from Rothley in Leicestershire, were asked to take part in the eight-part documentary but refused as they believed it ‘could potentially hinder’ the British police investigation.

The series scrutinises the Portuguese inquiry, and includes an admission from the detective who led the hunt that the police’s initial response was ‘inadequate’.