Detective Who Criticised Madeleine McCann's Parents Convicted For Two Violent Break-Ins
The detective who clashed with the parents of missing teenager Madeleine McCann has been convicted for a spate of burglaries as well as kidnapping.
Paulo Pereira Cristóvão has long been a critic of both Kate and Gerry McCann, even writing a controversial book about the mysterious case.
But he has now been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for his involvement in planning two violent break-ins at properties in Lisbon and the nearby town of Cascais.
According to reports, Cristóvão was accused by state prosecutors of being a key figure in an organised gang.
It was claimed that he provided information to his accomplices about victims and the homes that were being targeted.
However, despite his conviction, he will remain free pending an appeal.
News broke in March that Cristóvão was facing a trial, at the same time as he was appearing in Netflix documentary The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, which looked back over his most famous case.
He admitted his involvement before the trial at a court in Cascais which ended last month.
However, he went on to deny that he was, in some way, the ringleader of the criminal gang and following the guilty verdict argued that he had been convicted of crimes - including kidnapping - that he had not played any part in.
It was heard in court that Cristóvão had, in fact, handed back the £8,500 commission he had received for one of the raids, to the victim.
All but one of the 17 defendants involved in the case were convicted over the 2014 raids which were headed up by police officers using false search warrants.
During one of the violent raids, two parents and their daughter were kidnapped, with the gang stealing more than £100,000.
Two other officer implicated in the raids were both jailed for 17 and 16 years each. They had been sacked prior to the start of the trial.
During the court case, it was also heard that the alleged leader of a hooligan gang, Nuno Mendes - who was already in prison - was also sentenced to six years and four months behind bars.
It was claimed Mended received instructions from Cristóvão regarding the break-ins, and then passed them on to a family member who got the two convicted cops to carry out the raids.
Following the ruling, Cristóvão - a former president of Sporting Lisbon and head of Portugal's missing children agency - said he was 'shocked and surprised'.
He will appeal the decision.
Featured Image Credit: Netflix