Karen Matthews is ‘demanding a refund on her £39.95 engagement ring’ amid claims she has split from her convicted paedophile fiance.
Matthews, 44, claimed she dumped Paul Saunders, 57, after MailOnline revealed his sex offender past.
A friend of Matthews said she felt betrayed after learning her new love was a convicted child abuser who groomed and defiled a vulnerable teenager while working as a driver for special needs children.
The pair met six weeks ago and got engaged over Christmas after Saunders fell ‘head over heels’ in love with her after meeting when he came to repair her bathroom.
Karen Matthews (left) has split from handyman Paul Saunders, 57, (right) who was jailed for five years in 2010 for engaging in sexual activity with a ‘vulnerable’ teenage girl
It is believed Matthews bought her own Princess Diana lookalike ring in the sale which she claims Saunders repaid her for.
But now a friend has told The Mirror that the blue silver oval blue Cubic Zirconia cluster ring is in the box and ready to go back.
A friend said Matthews ‘wants a refund’ for the ring that the jewellery store’s website claims ‘very few would know the difference between this and the ‘real thing’.
The mother-of-seven apparently took off her engagement ring and told a friend: ‘He’s not coming back’.
Matthews bought her own Princess Diana lookalike ring in the sale for £39.95 (left file image). Princess Diana wearing her engagement ring with a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire (right)
Saunders was jailed for five years in January 2010 for his abuse of a vulnerable young girl aged between 15 and 17 who said after his conviction at Oxford Crown Court: ‘He makes me sick. He should die. I hate him’.
Saunders, targeted the ‘vulnerable’ girl and made indecent images of her, the court heard as he was jailed for five years placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
He is said to have gone berserk on Thursday after being arrested at his lover’s home by Thames Valley Police after officers discovered he was living with his fiancee and had breached his bail conditions.
The handyman from Reading, Berkshire, was released under investigation.
Matthews in March 2008 holding her daughter’s favourite teddy bear as she feigned an emotional appeal for her safe return (left). Matthews and her ex-boyfriend’s uncle Michael Donovan were jailed in 2008 for the plot to stage Shannon’s (right) kidnapping
But Saunders was seen leaving her home and heading to the local newsagent with a grin on his face yesterday morning after spending the night there.
A witness told The Sun: ‘They are still together in her house. He went mad on his way back there Thursday evening. Saunders was walking up the street yelling “c***” at every house near to Matthews. He’s obviously livid at being found out’.
The tragic case of Shannon Matthews and her feckless mother Karen
19 February 2008 Shannon Matthews is last seen outside her school in Dewsbury
20 February Police announce a massive search for the missing girl
21 February 200 volunteers join the local police search party
1 March Shannon’s mother Karen issues an emotional public appeal for the safe return on her daughter
12 March Reward offered for information leading to Shannon’s whereabouts is increased to £50,000
14 March Shannon is found inside the base of a divan base at the home of Michael Donovan in Batley Carr
Over the next few weeks Donovan, along with Shannon’s mother and stepfather, are all charged for separate offences
23 January 2009 Matthews and Donovan are sentenced to eight years each of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice
April 2012: Matthews is released from prison after serving half her sentence. She was given a new taxpayer-funded identity and home. She is banned from seeing Shannon and her other children, who were put in care.
However Matthews insisted their relationship was ‘done’ and said Saunders slept on her sofa.
She said his belongings are packed in a Primark bag but the pair are yet to arrange a date for him to collect his things.
Saunders was detained ‘on suspicion of a breach to his notification requirements’ – most likely to be that he failed to inform Thames Valley Police he was staying with Matthews rather than at his own address.
The handyman from Reading, Berkshire, has since been released under investigation.
Matthews and her ex-boyfriend’s uncle Michael Donovan were jailed in 2008 for the plot to stage Shannon’s kidnapping and claim the £50,000 reward for ‘finding’ her.
She made a series of tearful TV appeals for help in finding her daughter as West Yorkshire Police launched one of the force’s largest ever searches.
Shannon was eventually found by detectives in Donovan’s flat, around a mile from her home in Dewsbury, 24 days after she disappeared.
Prosecutors said the schoolgirl was drugged and probably kept captive on a leash during her incarceration.
Police described Matthews as ‘pure evil’ after she was found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
Her then-boyfriend, Craig Meehan, was not involved in the kidnapping plot.
However, he was separately convicted of possessing 49 indecent images of children on a home computer.
She and Donovan were both sentenced to eight years in prison in January 2009 and released in 2012 after serving half their sentences.
Shannon was raised by a new family under a new identity and is now an adult.