Portuguese TV journalist makes cruel Madeleine McCann Twitter joke
Heartless Portuguese TV reporter
Heartless Portuguese TV reporter makes cruel Twitter joke at expense of missing Madeleine's parents when she tells misbehaving son 'Stop or I'm going to call the McCanns'
- Rita Marrafa de Carvalho posted joke to 52,000 followers on Twitter this week
- Mother-of-two, 42, threatened to 'call McCanns' if her son, eight, wasn't quiet
- Prominent broadcaster was branded an 'idiot' and 'naughty girl' online
A successful Portuguese broadcaster has been slammed for making a cruel joke at the expensive of missing toddler Madeleine McCann and her family.
Rita Marrafa de Carvalho, 42, told her 52,000 Twitter followers she warned her eight-year-old son she would 'call the McCanns' if he didn't behave at his birthday party.
The mother-of-two confessed she 'regretted it' but 'at least it worked'.
Ms Marrafa de Carvalho is a leading Portuguese crime reporter and has worked on the McCann case during her 20-year career.
Sources close to the youngster's parents Kate and Gerry described the joke as 'horrible' and that she should know better.
Rita Marrafa de Carvalho, 42, has been slammed for a joke she made on Twitter about missing toddler Madeleine McCann and her parents
The mother-of-two, 42, told her 52,000 Twitter followers she warned her eight-year-old son she would 'call the McCanns' if he didn't behave at his birthday party
They told The Sun: 'It's a horrible thing to say. She should know the pain and heartache they are going through.
'There's always been this inaccurate misconception that Kate and Gerry were somehow responsible for Maddie going missing. This is another bitter attempt at suggesting that.'
Madeleine McCann (left and right) would be turning sixteen this month
The TV reporter wrote on Twitter this week: 'At my eight-year-old son's party, with everyone running and screaming, spilling crisps and M&M's, and messing with everything they shouldn't, I confess I shouted: 'Stop or I'm going to call the McCanns.'
'I'm not proud of it but it worked. At least with my child it did. He quietened down after that.'
The 42-year-old, who has worked for state broadcaster RTP for more than two decades, has showed no sign of remorse over her remarks or removed the extraordinary post from her Twitter feed.
She was branded an idiot by one fan over her shocking claim and a 'naughty girl' by another.
But others appeared to egg her on, with one male admirer claiming he had 'killed himself laughing' and another encouraging her to make flyers for the next party which said: 'McCann Daycare. A place your children will never want to leave.'
Her controversial tweet came less than two months after a veteran Portuguese journalist linked Madeleine's anguished mother Kate, 51, to the MI5.
Sources close to the youngster's parents Kate and Gerry (pictured) described the joke as 'horrible' and that she should know better
Veteran journalist Jose Antonio Saraiva fed the wild conspiracy theories surrounding the Madeleine McCann mystery by alleging a female doctor had contacted him to insist her May 3 2007 disappearance was linked to her parents 'secret activity' because of her mum's 'suspected' MI5 membership.
And he gave the hair-brained idea oxygen in Sol - the weekly national Portuguese newspaper he founded nearly 13 years ago - by claiming it might explain Gordon Brown's decision to 'dispatch' then-British Ambassador John Buck to Praia da Luz after the youngster vanished from her parents' Algarve holiday apartment.
It was not clear last night if Marrafa de Carvalho's RTP bosses have been made aware of her Twitter taunt.
She is divorced from Jose Carlos Ramalho, the father of her two kids, but called him an 'extraordinary man and great friend' after their split and describes their children as her 'greatest work.'