Violent paedophile was murder suspect

22 May 2009
Yorkshire Post
Rob Preece

THE violent child sex attacker being investigated in connection with Madeleine McCann's disappearance was the prime suspect in a shocking murder case which took 32 years to solve and saw an innocent man jailed. Raymond Hewlett, 64, was interviewed by police hunting the killer of 11-year-old schoolgirl Lesley Molseed, whose body was found on moorland near Ripponden in 1975.

Hewlett had several convictions for sexual assaults on girls and, at the time of the murder, lived in Todmorden, 11 miles from the scene of Lesley's abduction.

Although a file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions Hewlett was never charged with the killing and DNA evidence ruled him out of the investigation in 2003.

But Hewlett's name was linked to the crime again in 2007, when Ronald Castree stood accused of Lesley's murder in a trial at Bradford Crown Court.

Defence counsel Rodney Jameson QC told the court it was "overwhelmingly probable" that Hewlett killed the schoolgirl, but a jury found Castree guilty by a 10-2 majority.

Castree, who was jailed for life, abducted Lesley on October 5, 1975, as she ran an errand for her mother near their home in Rochdale.

The girl's body was found three days later on moors near the A672 Oldham to Ripponden road. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed 12 times.

An innocent man, Stefan Kiszko, was convicted of Lesley's murder in 1976 and spent 16 years in prison before it was discovered he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Mr Kiszko, a tax clerk, was infertile and could not have produced the DNA sample that was found at the murder scene. He died on December 21, 1993, less than two years after his release.

Hewlett became the chief suspect after Mr Kiszko's conviction was quashed and he was even named as the murderer in a 1997 book written by a local journalist, a lawyer and a former police officer.

Pressure mounted in March 1999 when Lesley's family announced their intention to bring a private prosecution against him.

Evidence retained from the crime scene was then subjected to a new forensic examination, enabling scientists to create a DNA profile of the killer – which did not match Hewlett's.

But Hewlett remained under suspicion in December 2001 when West Yorkshire Police issued new pictures of him in an attempt to trace him for questioning.

Now he is under investigation once again after a couple who met him while on holiday in Portugal raised concerns that he might be responsible for Madeleine's disappearance.

Alan and Cindy Thompson said Hewlett, who grew up in Blackpool, was living with his wife and six children in a converted Dodge truck, travelling from campsite to campsite.

Mr Thompson, 56, claimed Hewlett said he was approached by some "Gipsy tourists" offering to buy his daughter just before Madeleine went missing.

Mrs Thompson, 47, said: "We didn't think too much of this at the time. Ray and his family led a desperate hand-to-mouth lifestyle and someone may have thought he'd be tempted to sell one of his six children."

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

The couple said they contacted Hewlett again when they learned of his convictions.

He told them he had done nothing wrong."


0 Responses to "Violent paedophile was murder suspect"
Return to top of page Copyright © 2010 | Flash News Converted into Blogger Template by HackTutors