Paedophile probed by McCanns

23 May 2009
Weekend Argus
Vivien Horler

LONDON: Detectives working for the parents of missing Madeleine McCann are investigating a convicted paedophile in connection with her disappearance, the family’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said yesterday.

Mitchell confirmed private investigators are looking into former British soldier Raymond Hewlett, a repeat sex offender whose picture was splashed on the front page of The Daily Mirror yesterday.

The paper said Hewlett, whom it identified as a 64-year-old father of six, was being treated at an unnamed German hospital for throat cancer.

Mitchell emphasised that Hewlett was only one of several leads being investigated and that the McCanns had played no role in publicising their interest in the man.

Police in both Portugal and in the northern English city of Leicester, where the McCanns live, declined to comment on the reports.

Hewlett’s name does not appear in the Portuguese police file on the case, which was made available to reporters after Portugal’s attorney-general closed the investigation last July.

The Mirror quoted Alan and Cindy Thompson, who said they met Hewlett on holiday in Portugal three years ago. The newspaper said they became alarmed when they found out about his past and realised he had been living an hour away from Praia da Luz, where the three-year-old vanished from a hotel room two years ago.

Mitchell told The Associated Press the family would rather have kept the matter out of the public eye.

“It’s a matter for the private investigators. Ideally it would have remained a private investigation,” he said in a telephone interview. “I would stress he’s only one part of the inquiry.”

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