THE kidnapper of Shannon Matthews has died at a Bradford district hospital, according to national reports.

Shannon was discovered 24 days after she disappeared from her home in Dewsbury Moor.

She had been hidden and drugged at her stepfather's uncle Michael Donovan's home, less than a mile away.

Her mother, Karen Matthews, was sentenced to eight years in prison after a court heard that she planned the 2008 disappearance in an attempt to claim a cash reward.

She was released in 2012.

Donavan received the same sentence.

It is reported Donovan, 54, was diagnosed with Stage 3 throat cancer in February and was pronounced dead yesterday at Three Valleys Hospital in Keighley.

The reports also add that he collapsed in a hospital courtyard.

Police eventually found Shannon, aged nine at the time, in the drawer of a divan bed a few miles from her home estate of Dewsbury where she went missing on February 19, 2008.