Evening News names suspect in Lesley Molseed murder case

7 October 1997
Manchester Evening News

The Evening News today names Raymond Hewlett as prime suspect in the Lesley Molseed murder. He is a paedophile who slipped the dragnet through his lies and police blunders. Innocent Stefan Kiszko spent 16 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of Lesley's murder 22 years ago.

Hewlett, 52, is using a false name and living a hippy lifestyle with a 20-year-old woman in Ireland. A book about the jailing of Kiszko - published later this week - identifies Hewlett and documents evidence against him. He remains the number one suspect for the sexually motivated murder of 11-year-old Lesley, from Rochdale, who was abducted and stabbed 12 times before her body was dumped on moorland. Hewlett has refused to answer questions about Lesley's murder. But an inmate who once shared a cell with him claimed he confessed to the killing.

Hewlett also refused to say why he lied to police in 1975 when he persuaded his 15-years-old lover to provide a false alibi - which she retracted 20 years later, the book reveals.

Titled Innocents, the book details how Rochdale tax clerk Kiszko - now dead - and Lesley were both failed by the criminal justice system. It reveals the evidence against Hewlett, his fascination for young girls and how he has been convicted for kidnapping and sexual abuse.

He went to Ireland the day after Lesley's body was found and again in 1992 when he was released after being quizzed in depth about Lesley's murder.

When detectives re-opened the investigation five years ago, they found Hewlett's name in a file containing details of several sex offenders from the Rochdale area who were to be interviewed about the killing. They discovered that Hewlett was questioned when he lived in Todmorden, a few miles from Rochdale, but was never eliminated.

Police did not check his statement or alibi because once Kiszko was arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure, the murder squad regarded him as their suspect. Hewlett has numerous convictions for indecency against children. One involved enticing a 10-year-old Rochdale area girl and trying to rape her after subduing her with paint-thinners.

The Evening News has decided to identify him and publish his picture for the first time in the hope that someone comes forward with new information about Lesley's murder.

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