Gardai appeal for man over child killing

13 January 2002
The People
Nicola Tallant

Police have released chilling new pictures of pervert Raymond Hewlett who they want to question over the death of a schoolgirl and who believe may be hiding out in Ireland. Officers in the UK have released a photograph taken in 1997 which shows the 56-year-old paedophile father of eight with his pregnant girlfriend Marianne Schmucker in the hope that someone may recognise him. They believe the sex beast who has kidnapped, raped and assaulted several young girls may still be with Marianne and a child.

They have confirmed he is now the chief suspect in a horror child murder and assault in 1975.  They have also released the most recent passport photo of the man who is wanted in connection with the multiple stabbing and assault of 11-year-old Lesley Molseed, who was brutally killed and dumped in Yorkshire moors. 

Hewlett is known to have spent a considerable amount of time in Ireland during the 1990s, when he lived in Donegal, Louth and Kerry.  Officers believe it is highly likely he may be still living in Ireland under an assumed identity and have warned he is 'a serious danger to children'.

Det Chief Supt Max McLean of West Yorkshire Police, the officer leading the investigation, said: "This case has never been closed. An incident room is based at Halifax police station and we have a list of suspects we are pursuing - Hewlett is one of those suspects."

Hewlett turned up in Ireland for the first time in 1993 after fleeing from Britain where he had been quizzed in prison about Lesley's killing.  On his release he was arrested on suspicion of murder - then freed through lack of evidence.  He was discovered hiding out in a cottage in Co Donegal with a 21-year-old German girlfriend before moving to a suburb near Tralee, in Co Kerry.  When two detectives called to check on him, he fled. 

In 1998 he showed up in Co Louth.  Gardai have tracked Hewlett across nine counties, and he has been sighted in Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Laois and Westmeath.  He was last spotted in Enniskillen. 

The grainy photograph which shows him strolling with Schmucker in the Scottish town of Forres has been made public in a bid to track down the dangerous paedophile.  Police believe he is in hiding in Scotland, Ireland or Italy.  He is wanted for questioning about the killing of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed, who was abducted in Rochdale in 1975. She was sexually assaulted, stabbed 12 times and dumped on moors in Ripponden in West Yorkshire. 

West Yorkshire Police launched a new inquiry into the murder last year - and Hewlett emerged as the prime suspect.  He has a horrific record of crimes against young girls.

In 1972, he was jailed for a year after raping a 12-year-old girl.

In 1978, he attempted to rape a 14-year-old girl after holding a gun to her head and was jailed for four years.

In 1988, he kidnapped and indecently assaulted a 14-year-old girl. He was jailed for six years.

Hewlett is also wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged serious sexual assault in Manchester in 1975.

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