Derry Journal
26 May 2009

Convicted child molester and key suspect in the Madeleine McCann case used to live in Urris, the Journal can reveal. Raymond Hewlett, aged 64, who has been jailed for a string of child sex crimes and assaults in Britain, lived in the peninsula for a period of time.

Investigators looking into the disappearance of the now six-year-old desperately want to speak to the convicted British paedophile who has emerged as suspect in the case. According to British newspaper reports, Hewlett is said to have been living just one hour away from Praia de Luz in southern Portugal at the time of Maddie's disappearance, back in 2007.

Apparently a British couple became suspicious of Hewlett after getting to know him in Portugal. Alan and Cindy Thompson reported the suspect was living in a truck with his wife and six children, moving from campsite to campsite. He allegedly confided in them, revealing a 'gypsy' had asked to buy one of his children, just before Maddie went missing.

The former British soldier had been questioned by Portuguese police, at the time of Maddie's disappearance, but he had a 15-year-old girl as an alibi.

He's been jailed three times for kidnap and attempted rape of girls and appeared on Crimestoppers most Wanted paedophile list. Apparently he's been on the run since being released from jail - after serving a six year sentence for a sex attack on a 14-year-old girl - back in 1988.

British police were so worried about the threat he posed to children they stepped up their search to find him, and have located him living in Germany, recovering from throat cancer at a hospital.


Inishowen councillor, Padraig MacLochlainn, confirmed the sex pest had lived in Inishowen. He said: "He had lived in the area, in Urris for a while. "This was in recent years, but I am not sure how long he lived in the area. "The person I was speaking to did confirm this. "People may not have been aware of his history he lived there for a while and then moved on."

It's understood the McCann's investigators are keen to speak to Hewlett, along with a number of people being investigated by the private detectives.

Did you know Hewlett when he lived in Inishowen? If so, we want to hear from you. Contact our team on 048 712721277.

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