KAREN Matthews has forgiven her paedophile fiance’s sick past, The Sun Online can reveal.
The 44-year-old is so desperate to walk down the aisle with Paul Saunders that she has told him she doesn’t care about his disturbing rap sheet.
Handyman Saunders popped the question over Christmas and our exclusive pictures showed Matthews flashing her engagement ring while the pair were out shopping.
But the 57-year-old was then arrested by cops over allegations he had breached the terms of his release.
Matthews told pals that she knew nothing of his prison sentence and dumped him.
But now Saunders has come clean and she’s forgiven him. The pair will now pretend that the relationship is over until the dust settles.
Our source said: “She says that they’ve both made mistakes and have been to prison for very bad crimes.
“Karen doesn’t want to lose him because she reckons she’ll never get anyone else who loves her as much as he does and she gets lonely.
“They want to move away from where they are now and settle somewhere by the sea on the south coast.
“They will pretend things are over until the dust settles but really just carry on seeing each other.”
The source revealed that Saunders had told Matthews he had served time for stealing scrap metal and benefit fraud – not abusing a vulnerable girl.
Karen doesn’t want to lose him because she reckons she’ll never get anyone else who loves her as much as he does and she gets lonely.
Saunders admitted to engaging in sexual activity with a child, making indecent images of a child, and two counts of sexual assault when he was brought to court.
Matthews met the fiend when he was doing repair work at the flat she was given at taxpayers’ expense in the south of England.
Victim, Kathleen Jobb, said after his crimes were uncovered: “I feel like dirt. He makes me sick. I want him to pay.
“He should die. I hate him. I just want to get on with my life knowing that he will never be around here ever again.”
Saunders was jailed for five years in 2010.
Oxford Crown Court heard his offences took place between 2006 and 2009, when his victim was aged between 15 and 17.
Photographs of the victim were found on his mobile phone.
He was jailed for five years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
Matthews’ daughter Shannon was discovered by police under a bed at the home of Michael Donovan – the uncle of her mum’s boyfriend.
Matthews and Donovan dreamt up the fake kidnap to try to claim a £50,000 reward for her daughter’s safe return.
The vile mum was released with a new ID in April 2012 after serving half her eight-year sentence.
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