23 May 2009
Stephen Moyes ; Jeremy Armstrong
Madeleine police to talk to couple who raised their suspicions about Algarve drifter: Detectives keen to interview perv: He is investigated over death of son

Convicted paedophile Raymond Hewlett could be at the centre of three police inquiries as he lies in a German hospital recovering from throat cancer surgery. Detectives from Leicestershire police yesterday said they wanted to question British holidaymakers Alan and Cindy Thompson over their claims that when Madeleine McCann was snatched from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, Hewlett and his family were staying at a campsite in the region.

Officers from West Yorkshire yesterday said they had asked German authorities for permission to interview Hewlett over an unsolved indecent assault from 1975. And it was revealed he is also under investigation over the death of his son David after the boy fell from the back of a van that Hewlett was driving from Portugal to Germany.

The Mirror revealed yesterday that the Thompsons were on an extended holiday in Portugal in 2006 when they befriended Hewlett, his German wife Mariana and their six children. It was only after they returned to the UK they learned the seemingly harmless drifter had been jailed three times for attacks on girls.


They raised they alarm when they realised he and his family had been staying in a converted motor home at a camping site an hour from Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in May 2007. Detectives from Leicestershire Police yesterday contacted Alan and Cindy Thompson to arrange an interview with them today about their dealings with Hewlett.

Leicestershire police are the McCanns' home force and in charge of liaising with detectives in Portugal who are still investigating Madeleine''s disappearance. Alan said yesterday: "We are very happy that the police have made contact with us. All we want to do is make sure they have everything we know about Ray Hewlett."

A spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann has confirmed their private detectives are investigating 64-year-old Hewlett, a former trawlerman and fairground worker.

Meanwhile, officers from West Yorkshire Police are waiting for the go-ahead from the German authorities so they can interview Hewlett at hospital in Aachen. A spokesman for the force said yesterday: "West Yorkshire are actively seeking him in connection with an indecent assault which occurred in 1975."

Hewlett's first wife Susan Ginley, 63, divorced Hewlett after 17 years of marriage in 1981. By then Hewlett had already been jailed twice for sex attacks on children. Susan, a retired cleaner and seemstress, told yesterday how her former husband had become a drifter and had lived in several countries, including Ireland. She said: "I haven't seen him for 11 years and will never forgive him for the suffering he caused our children. "I've heard he's since lived in Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Portugal. He's the sort of man who can go to a foreign country not knowing a soul and soon befriend people with his personality. I know he's got cancer but I do not feel sorry for him."

Hewlett is already under investigation by German authorities over David's death. The boy fell from the back of a white Ford Cargo van Hewlett was driving. The accident happened near Seville in southern Spain as the family headed from Portugal to Germany early this year. Hewlett later said: "I went on quite a few kilometres and didn't know it had happened until I turned off. We had to turn around and go back to where it happened on the motorway. "After the accident the police took the keys off me and put a steering lock onto the van." Four of Hewlett's young children were in the back of the van without seats or seatbelts, it is believed.

The vehicle is not thought to have been insured or taxed and did not have a valid MoT certificate. The family later continued their trip to Germany by train. David was buried in an unmarked grave. An investigation by German police is still going on. Hewlett has had to regularly report to the British embassy in Frankfurt in relation to the inquiry. He could be charged with causing death by negligence if police decided he was at fault.

Hewlett's wife Mariana told the Thompsons she was distraught over the death of David. She added: "It shouldn't have happened. It was horrible. I'm always just one hair's breadth away from the nut house. I can't get over the death of David."


Ex soldier Hewlett and his family spent their time moving from campsite to campsite along the Algarve coast until he was diagnosed with cancer towards the ends of 2007.

Mariana made contact with the authorities in Germany to see if they could help her. They offered a flat and flights to Germany for her and her children but did not want to include Hewlett. So he then decided to drive the family to Germany. The couple and their children now live in a squalid flat in Aachen. The surnames 'Hewlett and Schmuker' are on a post box in the dimly lit entrance to their block.

Hewlett abducted and sexually assaulted a neighbour's 12-year-old daughter in 1972. In 1978 he tried to rape a 14-year-old girl after holding a gun to her head. Ten years later he kidnapped and assaulted a girl of 14. He was described by a judge at one of his trials as "extremely dangerous."

Hewlett was yesterday understood to be still be recuperating from major cancer surgery at the University Hospital Aachen.


0 Responses to "Wanted"
Return to top of page Copyright © 2010 | Flash News Converted into Blogger Template by HackTutors