Rothley, Leicestershire: Police are trawling through Kate McCann's confidential medical records amid suspicions in Portugal she may have a history of depression, sources close to the investigation revealed yesterday.

The detailed analysis of her medical notes could provide them with significant evidence against the doctor, now being treated as a suspect in the disappearance of her daughter Madeleine.

News of the development comes as a judge blocked a request from the Portuguese police to re-interview the McCanns in Portugal. Judge Pedro Daniel Dos Anjos Frios said they could be questioned by British authorities in the UK.

The re-interviewing will only take place when further DNA testing in Birmingham is completed, either today or tomorrow.

Allergic reaction

Officers are also looking through Madeleine's medical records to see whether or not the missing four-year-old could have suffered an allergic reaction to sedatives.

Since Kate and Gerry McCann were named as official suspects last week, there have been suggestions in Portugal that Madeleine was given drugs on the night of her disappearance.

The accusations have been strenuously denied by the couple but have not been ruled out by police. Although the order to seize medical files came from the Portuguese authorities, the background searches are being carried out by Leicestershire police.

A copy of Mrs McCann's diary has also been seized by police, who are now waiting for permission from the judge to seize and dismantle the McCanns' hire car so they can search for "traces of skin".

It has been reported that DNA evidence with a match to Madeleine was found in the Renault Scenic 25 days after their daughter vanished.

It emerged on Sunday that the McCanns are trying to knock down potential evidence retrieved after two British sniffer dogs, capable of detecting blood and human remains, were used in the investigation in August.

Meanwhile, members of the public have donated thousands of pounds towards the McCanns' legal costs.

The couple, who have appointed London-based law firm Kingsley Napley to advise them, are said to be "overwhelmed" by the support.

The family of heart surgeon Gerry, who have pledged to sell their homes in a bid to raise money for the fund, said they have received cheques in the post stating they should specifically be used for the couple's escalating legal costs.

Mr McCanns' sister Philomena said: "Just the other day I received a cheque in the post for £100 (Dh735) from a stranger. It's unbelievable."

The news came as Richard Branson confirmed he would be donating £100,000 to the McCanns' legal costs.

A spokeswoman said: "He wants to give them a chance to have a fair hearing.

"He's a father, and there's a missing child here - at the end of the day the most important thing is there's a little four-year-old girl missing."

Around £1,000 a day is also still being donated to the Find Madeleine Fund, which has now raised more than £1 million.

Gerry and Kate McCann attended mass at their local church yesterday for the first time since returning from Portugal.

Afterwards Mr McCann said in a statement: "It was very comforting to be amongst friends and family." He said life in Rothley, Leicestershire, was "still a long way off normal" but was beginning to settle down.