Maddie suspect lied to cops

21 June 2009
Weekend Argus
Judy Gorman

POLICE investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are racing against time to probe the lies told by convicted paedophile Raymond Hewlett. Hewlett, 64, who is terminally ill with throat cancer, lied about significant aspects of the case, including whether he had seen the three-year-old before she went missing from the Praia da Luz holiday resort in Portugal in May 2007. He served three jail terms in the UK for sex crimes involving children before he took up a nomadic existence criss-crossing Europe with his wife and seven children.

It has been established that he was in the vicinity of Praia de Luz when Maddie vanished. Suspicion that he might have knowledge of her whereabouts was rekindled this week when it emerged that he had misled police about the vehicle he was driving at the time of her disappearance. The paedophile claimed he had a distinctive blue Dodge truck, and that it would have been noticed if he had driven into the resort.

But a former acquaintance of Hewlett told police that Hewlett owned a white Mercedes van at the time, similar to one seen parked near the McCanns’ holiday apartment.

Former Scots Guard Peter Verran, 46, who met Hewlett in a Moroccan campsite in June 2007, said: “He told me he owned a white Transit-type (van)… but swopped it for the Dodge when he left Portugal for Morocco.” Verran also said Hewlett was fixated by the case, and had been to the holiday flat “many times”.

Hewlett, who refuses to give an alibi for the night Maddie disappeared, but maintains his innocence, told a German newspaper this week: "yes I saw Maddie"-Daily Mail

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