Wanted paedophile investigated in search for missing Madeleine

23 May 2009
The Irish News

A convicted paedophile wanted by British police is being investigated in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Briton Raymond Hewlett, was staying near Praia da Luz, in Portugal, when the three-year-old went missing in May 2007, according to reports.

Hewlett, who grew up in Blackpool, Lancashire, has been jailed several times for sexual offences against young girls.

The former soldier, who also lived in Telford, Shropshire, is wanted for questioning by West Yorkshire police in connection with a case dating back more than 30 years.

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry, said Hewlett was being looked at by investigators working for the couple from Rothley in Leicestershire.

"It's my understanding that if you are on the sexual offenders register you are supposed to alert the authorities to your movements," he told reporters.

"I understand that in this case Mr Hewlett's whereabouts weren't known to a number of police forces for some time.

"Now that he is being treated for an illness in Germany it's up to the individual police forces as to what they do with that information."

He said Madeleine's parents were "fully aware" of the development and added the couple's investigators had been in Portugal for the last week.

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Police confirmed they want to speak to Mr Hewlett.

"We are actively seeking him in connection with an indecent assault in 1975," she said.

The alarm was raised about Hewlett by a couple who met him while on holiday in Portugal, a newspaper said.

Alan and Cindy Thompson said Hewlett had been travelling from campsite to campsite with his wife and six children in a converted Dodge truck.

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