Brits already forking out en-masse for Maddie cop libel appeal

After what many consider the bombshell of a judicial decision last week, British supporters of the former Portuguese policeman ordered to pay the parents of Madeleine McCann €500,000 euros in damages are rallying to a “gofundme” online appeal for his legal defence.

Already widely reported is the fact that Gonçalo Amaral “will appeal to the last judicial instance” against the vast sum of damages awarded against him in the civil action for defamation taken out by Kate and Gerry McCann. But what few in Portugal may be aware of is that an online fund set up by a 22-year-old woman in Birmingham is already seeing money pouring in in Amaral’s defence.

At time of writing on Sunday morning, 315 people had donated over £5,000 to the Legal Defence for Gonçalo Amaral set up by Leanne Baulch, with all sorts leaving commentaries, including at least one introducing himself as a retired police officer.

Jill Parkin added her £10 donation to the fund, saying: “Please do not give up in your quest for justice and the truth. I believe you are a honourable man who has been badly wronged. I honestly do not know what happened in this case but someone is lying and someone out there does know”

Many donors’ comments allude to an article in today’s Sunday Sun that suggests Amaral is being funded by “British trolls”.

As Emma Mitchell, giving £100 commented: “Shame on you The Sun! … Keep fighting GA , Madeleine deserves justice and so do you”.

Kirstene Glynn added her contribution, saying: “From yet another “nasty Internet troll” keep on fighting GA we’re behind u all the way”.

While others stumping up for the appeal that hopes to raise £25,000 pointed out: “There is a battle going on in social media land to force this through to the mainstream” which, they claim, “for some reason” only publishes one side of this seemingly endless and long-running story.

Thus for now, Amaral is being buoyed by two online appeals both here and in UK as British media persist with 8th anniversary “Madeleine disappearance” stories, including “exposés” on Amaral’s so-called “fall from grace” and new “revelations about a string of burglaries on the Praia da Luz resort from which Madeleine went missing.

According to the Express on Sunday, a home Amaral had hoped to retire to in a “millionaires development” near Olhão has “been seized to to cover the McCann libel payout” and is now boarded up, the property of the courts.

The paper quotes an alleged friend, saying that everything Amaral has worked for “all his life, could be lost”.

As we wrote this article, another three people bolstered the gofundme appeal.

By the end of the day donations had leapt almost £500.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com