Pain of missing Maddie 'multiplied 100 times by book'
on 03/10/2013 00:00:00
Speaking at the libel trial of Goncalo Amaral, Ms Cameron said the publication of his book in 2008 and a TV documentary based on it the following year caused the family to be "vilified" and "demonised".
She told the court: "My brother and sister-in-law live in purgatory because they have no end and they are looking for the truth. They would like an end but there is no end because they don't know what's happened."
The McCanns say the former detective's claims in the book The Truth of the Lie, including suggestions that they hid their daughter's body after she died in an accident and faked an abduction, damaged the hunt for Madeleine and exacerbated her family's anguish.
If successful in the legal action, brought against him, his publisher, and the makers of the documentary, the family stands to gain around £1m (€1.2m) in damages.
Ms Cameron said: "They were vilified in this book so their distress was multiplied 100 times. This pain was felt by all of their family because we still have a missing child and we knew that what is in there is not true."
Ms Cameron travelled to Lisbon with brother Gerry, who has applied to give evidence in the case.
Mr McCann still does not know if he will be able to give evidence at the trial.
Ms Cameron told the court she thought she was the first person in the UK Gerry called after his daughter disappeared in 2007.
She spent three months in Portugal with Kate and Gerry, and continued to help the family in the aftermath of the tragedy.
She described how the family drew up a rota to help Kate and Gerry when they returned from Portugal, and had to put it back in place after the book was published in Jul 2008 as they struggled to cope with its effects.
"Kate was in a very low mood, she was not coping with daily things," she said.
"She wouldn't go out socially at all, she would not go to a shop. We had to help with practical things like the shopping and cooking and looking after the children to help her."
She said the effects of the book were worse than when the McCanns were made arguidos, or formal suspects.
"This was a different thing. It was much more conclusive and demonising them, dehumanising them, saying they did not care for their children, that they were responsible.
"It makes it out that they weren't truthful and they have been vilified and it's very hard to turn round opinion about them that has been so widely spread."
The case was adjourned to next Tuesday. Mr Amaral denies defamation.