Maddie probe man’s city link

23 May 2009
The Press and Journal
Shona Gossip

A man who was named yesterday as a possible suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann had previously lived in Aberdeen, it has emerged. Raymond Hewlett fled the Moray area in 1997 after it was revealed he was a convicted paedophile.

Hewlett, who ha s been jailed several times for sex offences against young girls, reportedly tried to join the Findhorn Foundation during his brief stay in the village, before moving to Aberdeen after his past was exposed.

In 2002 police released a picture of him and his girlfriend Marianne Schmuckerin at Forres as part of an inquiry into his whereabouts. It is understood he is wanted by UK police forces for questioning about sex attacks dating back nearly 30 years. Hewlett, 64, was reportedly living near the Algarve town of Faro, an hour’s drive from Praia du Luz, the resort where Madeleine was staying with her family in May 2007.

Detectives have now flown to Germany to speak to him, where he is being treated for cancer, but he yesterday denied having any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance. Speaking of the time and place where the three-year-old disappeared, he said: “I know exactly where I was. I wasn’t anywhere near there. I’ve done nothing wrong, nothing, nothing.”

A couple who met Hewlett while on holiday in Portugal raised the alarm about the former Scots Guardsman.

Alan and Cindy Thompson said they were “disgusted” to discover the truth about his past, and recalled a conversation in which Hewlett said he was approached by some “gipsy tourists” offering to buy his daughter just before Madeleine went missing.

They also remembered him mentioning a “business” trip to Morocco where there were several alleged sightings of Madeleine in the months after her disappearance.

A major police investigation was launched on May 3, 2007 after Madeleine disappeared from her holiday apartment while parents Gerry and Kate dined in a nearby restaurant. The little girl who would now be six, remains missing.

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