The family of a woman who faked her own daughter’s kidnapping have warned they will disown her if she does not ditch her convicted paedophile partner.
Despite the ultimatum, Karen Matthews, 44, was seen walking hand-in-hand with Paul Saunders on Valentine’s Day with a scarf covering her face.
Last month it emerged that ‘Britain’s worst mother’ had got engaged after her handyman boyfriend popped the question over Christmas.
She was seen around town wearing her ring, but told friends she had called the wedding off after discovering her fiancé had been convicted for sexually abusing a girl aged 15 to 17.
But they appear to have patched things up after they were spotted holding hands yesterday.
After news broke of their engagement, Saunders said he was ‘not bothered’ about his partner’s 2009 conviction for kidnapping her daughter Shannon Matthews.
The then nine-year-old girl was reported missing in February 2008 and a massive search operation involving more than 200 police officers was launched.
What authorities didn’t realise, was that Matthews and her mum’s boyfriend’s uncle Michael Donovan had staged the kidnapping in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire in a bid to get a £50,000 reward.
Saunders said he was ‘not bothered’ by his girlfriend’s criminal history when the pair got engaged
Handyman Saunders was handed a five year sentence for sexually abusing a teenage girl and making indecent images of her
Police found Shannon drugged and hidden in the base of a divan bed in Donovan’s flat, 24 days after she was reported missing.
Matthews, who has seven children with five dads, was convicted of child neglect and perverting the course of justice and served four years of her eight year jail sentence.
She was released in April 2012 and now lives in a town in the south of the UK, which cannot be named for legal reasons.
Matthews no longer has any contact with her daughter Shannon – who was brought up under a new identity – or her other children.
Shannon Matthews, nine, was found drugged and hidden in the base of a divan bed 24 days after she was reported missing
According to The Sun her family have threatened to cut her off if she does not ditch Saunders, who was jailed for five years in January 2010 for abusing a ‘vulnerable’ young girl and making indecent images of her.
A friend of hers said: ‘She has got no friends where she lives anymore because of Saunders. People have ditched her because she refuses to kick him out.’
Matthews allegedly ‘lied’ to pals that she was going to dump him but is still letting her fiancé live at her place ‘full time’.
Her friend added: ‘Some people believed she should be given the time to prove she had turned over a new leaf after she got out of jail. But this relationship is a line that has been crossed.’