Maddie cops close in on second paedo Brit

27 May 2009
Daily Star
Jerry Lawton
Is Brit 'spotty man'?

Detectives hunting Madeleine McCann want to quiz a second Brit paedophile living near the apartment where she was snatched. The cops believe the convicted sex offender could be the "spotty'' mystery man seen casing the family's holiday flat in the days leading up to the abduction. The man was investigated by Portuguese police shortly after Maddie disappeared from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3 2007, days before her fourth birthday. They cleared him after a 12-year-girl who had seen the prowler was shown the suspect's picture and said it was not the same man. But 100 pages of notes relating to this part of the investigation were withdrawn from 17 volumes of police case files released to the public after a request from British police.

Now private eyes hired by Maddie's parents want to question him themselves. The drama came after another Brit paedophile, Raymond Hewlett, agreed to be interviewed in a bid to prove he did not snatch Maddie.

The ex-soldier emerged from a German hospital following throat cancer surgery saying: "I have nothing to hide. I'm willing to talk.'' Hewlett, who was staying on a campsite an hour from the apartment when Madeleine vanished, served six years in jail for abducting and sexually assaulting a girl of 14 at knifepoint.

West Yorkshire Police also want to quiz him about an indecent assault on an eight-year-old in 1975.

Last night McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "We are pleased Mr Hewlett has agreed to speak to the investigators. If an interview eliminates him from their inquiry he has done the right thing.''

The private eyes think Maddie was taken by two men - a "spotter" who cased the apartment and "snatcher'' who struck while her doctor parents Kate, 41, and Gerry, 40, were dining with pals in a nearby tapas bar. Mr Mitchell said the detectives would quiz Hewlett before flying to Portugal to question the other man.

Police sources said he had been eliminated because his bank card was used in Lisbon - three hours from Praia da Luz - at the time Madeleine was abducted. He was proved not to have made any mobile phone calls from the Algarve and his wife also gave him an alibi.

But Mr Mitchell said: "This man is on our radar.''

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