McCann-link paedophile agrees to DNA test

29 May 2009
Yorkshire Post
John Roberts

A CONVICTED paedophile linked to the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance has agreed to give a sample of his DNA to German police in connection with another case, it was reported last night.

Raymond Hewlett is believed to be giving the sample voluntarily to police in Aachen, in connection with an indecent assault 34 years ago being investigated by West Yorkshire Police.

He is a suspect in an attack on an eight-year-old girl in Manchester, in 1975, and detectives in Yorkshire have already written to German authorities seeking permission to speak to him.

The ex-soldier has also been linked to the Madeleine McCann case after it emerged that Hewlett was staying about an hour from the McCann's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in Portugal on the night their daughter vanished.

Hewlett, who formerly lived in Todmorden, has been jailed for sex crimes in Yorkshire. He is currently being treated for throat cancer in hospital in Germany.

The McCann's private investigators Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley have named him as a "person of interest" but have so far failed to secure an interview with him.

However the McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said an interview will be arranged after Hewlett declared that he had "nothing to hide" and was willing to speak to the investigators.

Hewlett has been a suspect in the indecent assault case in Manchester since 1999.

Detectives from West Yorkshire applied for permission to interview him three weeks ago and are set to fly to Germany as soon as permission is granted. The victim in this case, who is now 42, has been kept informed on the progress of the investigation.

Hewlett was also suspected of murdering Lesley Molseed, 11, whose body was found on moorland, near Ripponden, in 1975, but was cleared when DNA evidence revealed her killer was Oldham man Ronald Castree.

Hewlett abducted a 12-year-old girl in Todmorden in 1972 and attempted to rape a girl, 14, at gunpoint in 1978 – for which he received jail terms of 18 months and four years.

After kidnapping and assaulting another 14-year-old girl in North Wales he fled to Ireland. He was captured in 1989 and jailed for six years.

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