A former superintendent at Nottinghamshire Police has broken his silence on the Madeleine McCann case, discrediting a common theory about her disappearance.

Maddie, 3, went missing on the evening of May 3, 2007, from an apartment complex in Praia da Luz, Portugal, where she was sleeping with her two siblings.

McCann's parents claim their daughter was abducted through a window, however, retired Superintendent Peter MacLeod has rubbished the theory in an explosive podcast saying it was "not possible" for the 3-year-old to be kidnapped using the window as an escape route.

MacLeod, who had visited the apartment complex and inspected Maddie's ground floor bedroom, produced specific details of McCann's room saying it discredits the family's theory of what happened.

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Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up the search. Photo / Getty
Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up the search. Photo / Getty

"The window is only absolute maximum 50cm wide, in reality about 46cm wide, and it's already a metre off the ground," he said on the podcast titled Maddie.

"I had a [inaudible] at that and my shoulders are wider than that little window. So although you could climb in sideways you certainly can't jump in if you are a normal-sized person.

"But of course the shutters are the problem, because the shutters are going to be bashing down on your head. Either that or you've got to put a piece of wood in or something. And there's no suggestion of any of that.

"Then you've got to pick up a child without waking it up, without waking the other two children. I do not think it can be done, or let me put it another way, I do not see how anyone could do it.

"I frankly do not think it's possible."

He expressed other concerns about the window and said it raised "a first red flag".

From television footage, he said, it was obvious that the window shutters were not damaged or jemmied.

A former superintendent at Nottinghamshire Police has broken his silence on the Madeleine McCann case. Photo / Getty
A former superintendent at Nottinghamshire Police has broken his silence on the Madeleine McCann case. Photo / Getty

The retired cop says the evidence is in contrast to what was portrayed in the British media where it was claimed the windows and shutters were damaged.

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The former Nottinghamshire Police chief made the remarks as part of a podcast with leading experts commissioned by Australia's 9 News. The broadcast analysed the disappearance of the 3-year-old almost 12 years ago.

While MacLeod did not work on the case, he did visit the apartment complex and has since written an e-book called "What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann?".

The e-book looks at a number of key aspects of the case, including the sightings of a man carrying a child, the photos taken at the time, and whether Madeleine and her siblings were sedated.

Kate and Gerry McCann pictured taking about their missing daughter. Photo / Getty
Kate and Gerry McCann pictured taking about their missing daughter. Photo / Getty

Kate and Gerry McCann are furious at MacLeod following his appearance on the podcast, insisting the latest claims are false and should not be believed.

"Spurious allegations discussing what might have and might not have happened that night have been made umpteen times," a family friend told The Sun.

"Anybody can do a podcast, it doesn't mean it's right, and one spouting off about what they did and subsequently said is something quite frankly they will ignore. What would he know?"

More than £11million has been spent on the investigation so far while the Home Office confirmed it is considering an application from police for more money to continue Operation Grange.