On the run

6 January 2002
Sunday Mail
Norman Silvester

A chilling picture showing suspected child killer Raymond Hewlett in Scotland has been released by detectives. Former Scots Guardsman Hewlett, 55, is wanted over the murder and sexual assault of 11-year-old Lesley Molseed in 1975. Stefan Kiszko spent 16 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of her murder.

Police have confirmed convicted paedophile Hewlett, who is known to have lived and worked in Scotland throughout the late 1990s, is their prime suspect. They have released the photograph, which shows father-of-eight Hewlett strolling with his pregnant girlfriend Marianne Schmucker in the north-east town of Forres, in a bid to track down the man they describe as 'a danger to children'.

Detectives have also released Hewlett's passport picture from 1995 in an attempt to jog people's memories. Hewlett was linked with Lesley's murder last year and is now on the run and police believe he is in hiding in Scotland, Ireland or Italy.

Detective Chief Supt Max McLean, who is heading the hunt, said yesterday: "We know that Raymond Hewlett leads a nomadic life and has lived in Scotland and Ireland. "He often stays in communes or bed and breakfast establishments for a short time before moving on."

At the time of Lesley's murder, he was living in Todmorden - just 10 miles from Rochdale.

Hewlett was spotted in Scotland in 1997 where he tried to join the Findhorn Foundation, the new-age community in Forres. He worked in the town's Royal Hotel for two weeks before moving to Aberdeen with Marianne, then 23. She was pregnant at the time the photo was taken in 1997.

Schoolgirl Lesley was abducted in Rochdale in 1975 while walking to a local shop. She was sexually assaulted, stabbed 12 times and dumped on moors in Ripponden in West Yorkshire.

Stefan Kiszko was arrested and convicted of her murder the following year, but the conviction was overturned in 1992 after DNA evidence proved he was not the killer. Kiszko was freed, but died later that year.

West Yorkshire Police launched a new inquiry into the murder last year - and Hewlett emerged as a suspect. The former trawlerman and fairground worker has a horrific record of crimes against young girls.

In 1972, he was jailed for a year after raping a 12-year-old girl he had lured into his car and knocked out with paint stripper.

In 1978, he attempted to rape a 14-year-old after holding a gun to her head and was jailed for four years.

In 1988, he kidnapped another 14-year-old girl at knifepoint and indecently assaulted her. He was jailed for six years.

Hewlett is also wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged serious sexual assault in Manchester in 1975. Anyone with information on Hewlett is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police on 01422 337048 or their local police office.

Mother's battle for justice

THE conviction of Stefan Kiszko for the murder of 11-year-old Lesley Molseed is one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British legal history. But it was only the persistence of his widowed mother Charlotte that eventually led to his freedom. Stefan, then 24, was jailed for life in 1976, mainly on the basis of a written confession.

His defence team didn't know was that forensic evidence showed the killer was fertile but, due to a medical condition, Stefan, who had a mental age of 12, was infertile.

Charlotte Kiszko refused to accept her son was a killer and began a long battle to prove his innocence. The case was referred back to the appeal courts after DNA evidence proved Stefan was not the murderer. He was freed in 1992 but died later that year. The story of Charlotte's fight for justice was turned into an ITV drama, A Life For a Life, in 1998 starring Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis as Charlotte and Tony Maudsley as Stefan.

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