One time Molseed suspect dies

24 April 2010
Todmorden News

Former Todmorden man once suspected of abducting and murdering an 11-year-old school girl in 1975 has died.

It has been revealed that Raymond Hewlett, the prime suspect in the Leslie Molseed murder case, has died of throat cancer aged 64. He was cremated at a pauper's funeral in Germany four months ago.

Hewlett became the prime suspect for the murder of Lesley Molseed after Stefan Kisko was cleared of the crime in 1992 by the Appeal Court. Mr Kisko had spent 16 years in prison for her murder. He died shortly after his release.

Although Hewlett had been named as the person most likely to have killed Lesley in a book written by a former detective in 1997 the introduction of DNA profiling in 2003 cleared him of her murder.

Lesley was abducted from Turf Hill, Rochdale, on 5 October 1975. Her body was found three days later on desolate moorland above the A627 Oldham-to-Halifax Road. She had been stabbed 12 times.

In November 2007 Ronald Castree, a taxi driver from Shaw, was convicted of Lesley's murder. He was jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 30 years.

Despite being cleared of Lesley's murder Hewlett had been convicted of a string of sexual offences. In 1972 he was jailed after abducting a 12-year-old girl. He took her to moorland near his home in Todmorden and incapacitated her with a rag soaked in paint thinner. It later emerged she had narrowly escaped being raped.

He was jailed for four years for attacking another girl, in an incident in which he put a gun to her back. But she managed to escape.

He was jailed once again in 1988 after attacking a newspaper delivery girl.

Recently some national newspapers have also named Hewlett as the prime suspect in the kidnapping of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, who disappeared from a holiday resort in Portugual in 2007. Hewlett was in Portugual at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

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