Former suspect in Lesley Molseed murder dies

17 April 2010
Rochdale Observer

Raymond Hewlett in Aachen Germany 2009

The one-time prime suspect in the abduction and murder of 11-year-old Rochdale schoolgirl Lesley Molseed in 1975 has died.

News emerged this week that Raymond Hewlett, aged 64, who was also named as prime suspect by some leading national newspapers in the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann in Portugal, died of throat cancer and was cremated at a pauper’s funeral in Germany four months ago.

Raymond Hewlett became the prime suspect in Lesley Molseed’s murder after Stefan Kiszko, the man convicted of her murder, was cleared of the crime by Appeal Court judges in 1992, after spending 16 years in prison.

Mr Kiszko died shortly afterwards.

Hewlett was brought back into the limelight after being named as the person most likely to have carried out the killing of Lesley in a book which was written by a former detective in 1997.

As a result, the Molseed family campaigned in Todmorden, the town where Hewlett lived at the time of Lesley’s killing, handing out leaflets naming Hewlett and calling for justice for Lesley.

However, after the introduction of DNA profiling in 2003, police finally cleared Hewlett of Lesley’s murder.

Hewlett, the son of a Blackpool baker, served with the Scots Guards.

Later, he worked on fairgrounds before committing a string of sexual offences.

In 1972 he was jailed after abducting a 12-year-old girl and taking her to the moors near his home in Todmorden.

He had incapacitated her with a rag soaked in paint thinner and it later emerged she narrowly escaped being raped.

In 1978, Hewlett attacked another girl, this time putting a gun to her back but she, too, managed to escape.

He was jailed for four years for that offence.

In 1988 he was jailed once again after attacking a newspaper delivery girl.

In November 2007, Ronald Castree, a taxi driver from Shaw was convicted of the killing of Lesley – 32 years after her death.

He was jailed for life and told that he must serve a minimum of 30 years.

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