A burger company boss has refused to apologise for using a picture of disgraced parent Karen Matthews – on Mother’s Day.
Joe Scholey, of The Otley Burger Company, said he had “done nothing wrong” after several complaints on social media.
Matthews, now 46, was jailed in 2008 after faking the abduction of her own daughter.
A picture of the criminal was uploaded to the business’s Instagram and Facebook accounts on Sunday.
The caption read: “Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there. Don’t forget to treat them to a burger tonight.”
The posts – which have since been deleted – were met by a mixed response, with some branding the move “distasteful”.
One person said: “Eh? This is in very bad taste. A bit too far this time.”
Another added: “This is really quite distasteful and tbh doesn’t really do anything to promote your business to decent people.”
But owner Mr Scholey, 28, has refused to back down – claiming it was “just a bit of a joke”.
He said: “We are a burger company. We literally make money from the slaughter of animals.
“They found this offensive, yet we profit off slaughtering living creatures. They seem to be picking stupid fights.
“I don’t really understand what their issue is. They have seen what we post. If they don’t like it, don’t comment.
“It was just a bit of a joke. I am not apologising because they got offended
“It does not mean they are correct. It’s perfectly legal. I have done nothing wrong.”
Mr Scholey acknowledged that he had seen the comments questioning the picture use.
But he added that he only deleted the posts as he “had a lot on” and did not want his phone “pinging all the time”.
Matthews’ daughter Shannon, then nine, disappeared 13 years ago while walking home from school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
She was found 24 days later at the home of Michael Donovan – the uncle of Karen Matthews’ then-partner Craig Meehan.
It emerged that Matthews and Donovan had always known where Shannon was and had been trying to make money through publicity.
The pair were both jailed, with the mum serving four years of an eight-year sentence before being released in 2012.
Mr Meehan was not involved in the plot.