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Raymond Hewlett - A "Person Of Interest"

The Thompsons, Sunday Mirror, 23 May 2009
The Thompsons, Sunday Mirror, 23 May 2009 (paper edition)

The UK media frenzy over Raymond Hewlett continues, although his status is downgraded from 'suspect' to a 'person of interest'...
 

 
'He's innocent!', says wife of Maddie suspect Raymond Hewlett as details emerge of his 'knowledge of Ocean Club', 24 May 2009
 

'He's innocent!', says wife of Maddie suspect Raymond Hewlett as details emerge of his 'knowledge of Ocean Club' Daily Mail
 
By SAM GREENHILL
Last updated at 7:18 PM on 24th May 2009
 
The wife of paedophile Raymond Hewlett declared him 'innocent' yesterday as it emerged he was well acquainted with Madeleine McCann's holiday resort.
 
Defiant Marianna Schmuker said her husband had nothing to do with the little girl's disappearance, despite reports he had been outside the apartment in Praia da Luz 'many times'.
 
Police there are also considering whether to take a DNA sample from the convicted paedophile.
 
Yesterday a man who knew Hewlett came forward to reveal he had talked non-stop about the Madeleine case in the weeks after she vanished in May 2007.
 
Hewlett boasted of knowing Praia da Luz 'very well' and was familiar with the Ocean Club complex where Kate and Gerry McCann were staying with their children and friends.
 
Hewlett was living in the Algarve at the time Madeleine is believed to have been snatched by a predatory paedophile, but packed up and left for Morocco shortly afterwards, according to Peter Verran, who shared a Morocco campsite with Hewlett and his family for three months.
 
Mr Verran, 46, a former Scots Guardsman who runs an Internet business selling antiques from his home in Fowey, Cornwall, said: 'We got talking at the toilet block. He brought Madeleine up straight away.
 
'He said his three-year-old daughter looked like her.
 
'He was worried that because there had been reports that Madeleine may have been spirited away to Morocco, people might think his child was her. Then he suddenly said, "Madeleine's not in Morocco".
 
'I asked him what he meant and he said he knew Praia da Luz really well.
 
'He knew the Ocean Club complex where the McCanns had been staying.
 
'He said he'd been there many times and often parked his van close to the apartment.
 
'He said he knew the layout of the place, the flat and the restaurant where the McCanns and their friends had been eating.
 
'He had a lot of detail about the layout. He said there was no way that the child could be taken without the parents seeing. He said they were lying.'
 
Mr Verran claimed Hewlett had made wild an unfounded claims about the McCanns - both doctors, from Rothley, Leicestershire - and added: 'He said it was common knowledge among locals that Praia da Luz in general and the Ocean Club in particular was a magnet for Romanian gipsies who abduct and then traffic children.
 
'I asked him why he'd left and come to Morocco. He told me he'd had to leave Portugal in a hurry.
 
'He said he'd packed his family up in half an hour and just driven out of the area.
 
'That was just after Maddie was taken.'
 
A sketch drawn by a police artist of Madeleine's possible abductor, depicting a straggly-haired man with a droopy moustache, bears some similarities to pictures of Hewlett, who is also wanted for questioning by West Yorkshire police in relation to an alleged sex attack in 1975.
 
Although he is 'a person of interest' to the McCanns' investigation, their spokesman has stressed he is only one lead among many.
 
Hewlett has strenuously denied having anything to do with Madeleine's disappearance.
 
Speaking from his hospital bed last week he insisted: 'I've done nothing wrong, nothing nothing.'
 
Yesterday his German wife reacted furiously when reporters asked if her husband had been in Praia da Luz on May 3, the day Madeleine vanished.
 
Waving her arms in the air, she screamed: 'Leave us alone, this is witch hunt.'
 
Earlier she had insisted Hewlett was innocent before slamming the door of the shabby apartment where she lives with him and their six children in historic Aachen.
 
Their flat overlooks a children's playground and is 200 yards from a kindergarten.
 
A collection of dolls can be seen propped up in their windows.
 
Since her husband's monstrous past became news, Mrs Schmuker has removed his name from their letterbox in the dimly-lit lobby of the block.
 
A spokesman for Aachen police, Robert Hintereker, said the public prosecutor would decide in the coming days whether to take a DNA sample from Hewlett, who has a long record of sex attacks on young girls and has spent many years in jail and on the run.
 
The two private investigators employed by the McCanns are hoping to speak to Hewlett in the next few days.
 
Surgery on his oesophagus was carried out two weeks ago today, but the hospital has declined to divulge his current condition.
 
Retired policemen Dave Edgar, a former detective inspector, and Arthur Cowley, a former detective sergeant, do not have any jurisdiction in Germany nor any powers to compel Mr Hewlett to answer questions.
 
But the McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: 'Mr Hewlett has denied any involvement in Madeleine's abduction.
 
'Our investigators hope he will see sense and co-operate by giving them whatever information is needed so they can eliminate him from the investigation.
 
'It's clear the man is ill and it is clear he has information that our investigators need.
 
'It is also clear that our investigators will be speaking to him in the near future.'
 
Questions were raised about Hewlett's time in Portugal by a couple who met him on holiday. Alan and Cindy Thompson said the sex offender was living with his wife and six children in a converted Dodge truck travelling from campsite to campsite in the Algarve and southern Spain.
 
Hewlett allegedly told the Thompsons he was approached by some 'Gipsy tourists' offering to buy his daughter just before Madeleine went missing.
 
*
 
Update of same article:
 
Monster boasted he knew Maddie resort Praia da Luz 'very well' Daily Mail
 
By SAM GREENHILL
Last updated at 12:20 AM on 25th May 2009
 
The wife of paedophile Raymond Hewlett declared him ' innocent' yesterday as it emerged that he was well acquainted with the resort where Madeleine McCann was staying.
 
Marianna Schmuker said her husband had nothing to do with the little girl's disappearance, despite reports he was seen outside the apartment in Praia da Luz 'many times'.
 
Detectives hunting Madeleine are flying to Germany today, in an effort to question Hewlett, 64, who is recovering from throat surgery in hospital in Aachen.
 
His family live in an apartment in the city.
 
Yesterday a man who knew Hewlett came forward to reveal he had talked non-stop about the Madeleine case in the weeks after she vanished in May 2007.
 
Hewlett boasted of knowing Praia da Luz 'very well' and being familiar with the Ocean Club complex where Kate and Gerry McCann were staying with their children and friends.
 
Hewlett was living in the Algarve at the time, but packed up and left for Morocco shortly afterwards, according to Peter Verran, who shared a Morocco campsite with Hewlett and his family for three months.
 
Mr Verran, 46, a former Scots Guardsman who runs an antiques business from his home in Fowey, Cornwall, said: 'We got talking at the toilet block.

Defiant: Marianna Schmuker with Raymond Hewlett before he became ill

Defiant: Marianna Schmuker with Raymond Hewlett before he became ill
 
'He brought Madeleine up straight away. He said his three-year-old daughter looked like her.
 
'He was worried that because there had been reports that Madeleine may have been spirited away to Morocco, people might think his child was her.
 
'Then he suddenly said: "Madeleine's not in Morocco". I asked him what he meant and he said he knew Praia da Luz really well.

Raymond Hewlett

Marianna Schmuker

Raymond Hewlett, left and his wife Marianna Schmuker at her flat yesterday
 
'He knew the Ocean Club complex where the McCanns had been staying. He said he'd been there many times and often parked his van close to the apartment.
 
'He said he knew the layout of the place, the flat and the restaurant where the McCanns and their friends had been eating.'
 
Mr Verran claimed Hewlett had made wild and unfounded claims about the McCanns - both doctors, from Rothley, Leicestershire, adding: 'He said it was common knowledge among locals that Praia da Luz in general and the Ocean Club in particular was a magnet for Romanian gipsies who abduct and then traffic children.
 
'I asked him why he'd left and come to Morocco. He told me he'd had to leave Portugal in a hurry.
 
'He said he'd packed his family up in half an hour and just driven out of the area. That was just after Maddie was taken.'

Raymond Hewlett

A sketch of a man allegedly seen close to the resort when Madeleine was abducted

Investigation: Convicted paedophile Raymond Hewlett (left) and a sketch of a man allegedly seen close to the resort when Madeleine was abducted (right)
 
A sketch drawn by a police artist of Madeleine's possible abductor, depicting a straggly-haired man, bears some similarities to pictures of Hewlett, who is wanted for questioning by West Yorkshire police in relation to an alleged sex attack on an eight-year-old in 1975.
 
Although he is 'a person of interest' to the McCanns' investigation, their spokesman has stressed he is only one lead among many.
 
Hewlett has strenuously denied having anything to do with Madeleine's disappearance.
 
Speaking from his hospital bed last week he insisted: 'I've done nothing wrong - nothing, nothing.'

A picture of Raymond Hewlett next to the artist's impression of a man who was wanted for questioning in the Maddie case

Similarities: A picture of Raymond Hewlett next to the artist's impression of a man who was wanted for questioning in the Maddie case
 
*
 
Further update:
 
Madeleine detectives to DNA test paedophile suspect Raymond Hewlett Daily Mail
 
By SAM GREENHILL and DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 11:08 AM on 25th May 2009
 
Detectives hunting the whereabouts of Madeleine McCann will use DNA testing to determine whether paedophile Raymond Hewlett was involved in the little girl's disappearance.
 
Officers involved in the case are flying to Germany today, in an effort to question Hewlett, 64, who is recovering from throat surgery in hospital in Aachen.
 
A spokesman for Aachen police confirmed the public prosecutor will decide whether to give Hewlett the test in the next few days.
 
The convicted child rapist was living near the Algarve resort  at the time when Madeleine disappeared while on holiday with her parents in May 2007.
 
Police will use the results of the test to determine whether they match samples taken from the McCann's holiday apartment, which so far have not been linked to anyone.
 
The family's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said he hoped Hewlett would comply with the tests.
 
'Mr Hewlett has denied any involvement in Madeleine's abduction,' he said.
 
'Our investigators hope he will co-operate by giving them whatever information is needed so they can eliminate him from the investigation.'
 
News of the DNA test comes as the wife of Hewlett declared him ' innocent' after it emerged that he was well acquainted with the resort where the McCanns were staying.
 
Marianna Schmuker said her husband had nothing to do with the little girl's disappearance, despite reports he was seen outside the apartment in Praia da Luz 'many times'.
 
His family live in an apartment in the city.
 
(article continues as before...)

 
Maddie: Three Brits probed, 24 May 2009
 
Maddie: Three Brits probed Daily Star
 
By Jonathan Corke
24th May 2009
 
THREE Britons are now being investigated in the case of missing Madeleine McCann.
 
Lancashire-born convicted paedophile Raymond Hewlett was last week named as a possible suspect.
 
And the Daily Star Sunday can reveal that claims about two more people are being scrutinised by the team working for Maddie’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.
 
A fourth Brit, also a convicted paedophile, has been ruled out.
 
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said yesterday that a "number of names" had been put forward after appeals on this month's second anniversary of Maddie's disappearance from Praia da Luz on the Portuguese Algarve.
 
He refused to comment on their nationalities.
 
But he did say: "A handful of calls with substantive information is being followed up. Raymond Hewlett is just one line of inquiry among several."
 
Hewlett, 64, who was in Portugal when Maddie went missing, is currently in Germany being treated for cancer.
 
Reports in Portugal are saying that local police ruled him out of their investigation although he has been described as still dangerous to children and sources say he is wanted for questioning about an unsolved attack in Yorkshire.
 
The McCanns' private team – retired detectives Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley – intend to interview him "within days".
 
Our source said: "It's important to remember that Hewlett is just one avenue in the investigation. There are other leads being looked at."
 
Edgar and Cowley still need to trace the "Scarface" suspect featured in a recent mock-up photo release.
 
Meanwhile, the McCanns hope that International Missing Children's Day tomorrow will spark more information on the case.
 
They will join other families at an event in London.
 
A statement from the couple said: "If global efforts are strengthened, more of these vulnerable, innocent children will be found."

 
Madeleine McCann cops ask couple who raised alarm about paedophile Ray Hewlett if they have his mobile number, 25 May 2009
 

Madeleine McCann cops ask couple who raised alarm about paedophile Ray Hewlett if they have his mobile number Daily Mirror
 
By Ryan Parry and Stephen Moyes in Aachen, Germany
25/05/2009

Raymond Hewlett (pic:SM)

The couple who raised the alarm about paedophile Ray Hewlett told yesterday how detectives who interviewed them asked: "Do you still have his mobile number."
 
Alan and Cindy Thompson were questioned for three hours at the weekend by officers from Leicestershire Police's Madeleine McCann task force.
 
Cindy, who handed over the foreign number, said yesterday: "The detective who interviewed me asked for Ray's number. He didn't say what they'll do with it, I just hope it helps in some way."
 
Officers could use the number to access phone company records dating back to May 3, 2007, the day Madeleine vanished from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.
 
The records will show which mobile phone masts Hewlett's phone connected to on specific dates.
 
The information may help officers track Hewlett's movements the night Madeleine went missing and over the following days.
 
Alan said the detective who spoke to him was keen for information about the dilapidated Dodge truck Hewlett was driving at the time Madeleine vanished and which he later took to Morocco.
 
Alan said: "The officer asked what sort of truck it was and where I thought it was now. I told him it was a very distinctive blue Dodge truck with English plates, maybe beginning with a D or a G.
 
"I also told them that friends in Portugal told me that the truck is in Alvor, a town near Albufeira in the Algarve."
 
The detectives who interviewed Alan and Cindy in East London's Limehouse police station told them all the information would be passed on to Portuguese police.
 
Hewlett, who has been jailed three times for attacks on young girls, is currently in hospital in Aachen, Germany, recovering from throat cancer surgery.
 
Investigators working for Kate and Gerry McCann arrived in the city last night in the hope of interviewing Hewlett, possibly even today. Detectives from West Yorkshire are currently waiting for permission from the German authorities to question Hewlett in connection with an unsolved indecent assault from 1975.
 
Hewlett, 64, will have to see the British officers if permission is granted. But he will have the right to refuse to speak to the McCanns' team of retired policemen.
 
German police also plan to take a DNA swab from Hewlett to check it against traces obtained during the Madeleine investigation conducted by Portuguese police.
 
A couple who met Hewlett when he and his family were staying at a campsite in Morocco yesterday said he had told them he knew the Ocean Club resort where the McCanns stayed extremely well.
 
Peter and Nisrine Verran, who chatted to Hewlett shortly after Madeleine's disappearance, said the ex-fair-ground worker seemed obsessed with the case.
 
He told them he had parked a van near the McCanns' apartment complex on several occasions.
 
Peter, 46, said: "He brought Madeleine up straight away.
 
"He said his three-year-old daughter looked like her.
 
"He was worried because there had been reports that Madeleine may have been spirited away to Morocco, people might think his child was her. Then he suddenly said 'Madeleine's not in Morocco'.
 
"I asked him what he meant and he said he knew Praia Da Luz really well. He knew the Ocean Club complex where the McCanns had been staying. He said he'd been there many times and often parked his van close to the apartment."
 
The Mirror revealed last week that the Thompsons were on an extended holiday in Portugal in 2006 when they befriended Hewlett, his German wife Mariana and their six children.
 
It was only after they returned to the UK they learned about Hewlett's sinister past.
 
They raised the alarm when they realised he and his family had been staying at a camping site an hour from Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished. Leicestershire Police, the McCanns home force, said yesterday: "The disappearance of Madeleine McCann remains a Portuguese investigation."

 
Bid To Quiz Paedophile On Madeleine Fails, 25 May 2009
 
Bid To Quiz Paedophile On Madeleine Fails Sky News
 
BREAKING NEWS 11:07am UK, Monday May 25, 2009
 
Detectives in Germany have had their attempt to question paedophile Raymond Hewlett about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann rebuffed, Sky Sources understand.
 
They attempted to gain access to Hewlett during a visit to the hospital in the western city of Aachen, where he is receiving cancer treatment.
 
They were refused entry upon arrival at reception.
 
Sky News understands the negotiations to meet Hewlett have been conducted via his wife.
 
Last week, the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell confirmed the 64-year-old as a "person of interest" in the investigation.
 
The convicted paedophile was living about an hour's drive from Praia da Luz, Portugal, where Madeleine vanished while on holiday with her family in May 2007.
 
He was among a number of known child sex offenders to have been initially interviewed by police in the early days of the investigation.
 
A confirmed alibi had ruled him out of the case.
 
More to follow...
 
*
 
Update:
 
Bid To Quiz Paedophile On Madeleine Fails Sky News
 
4:56pm UK, Monday May 25, 2009
 
Detectives in Germany have had their attempt to question paedophile Raymond Hewlett about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann rebuffed, Sky sources understand.
 
They attempted to gain access to Hewlett during a visit to a hospital in the western city of Aachen, where he is receiving cancer treatment.
 
They were refused entry upon arrival at reception.
 
Sky News understands the negotiations to meet Hewlett have been conducted via his wife.
 
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell told Sky News that Hewlett has not refused to speak to the couple's detectives.
 
He said negotiations are continuing with local authorities.
 
The private detectives are seeking relevant permissions and remain confident they will speak to Hewlett within the next day or two.
 
Last week, Mr Mitchell confirmed the 64-year-old as a "person of interest" in the investigation.
 
The convicted paedophile was living about an hour's drive from Praia da Luz, Portugal, where Madeleine vanished while on holiday with her family in May 2007.
 
He was among a number of known child sex offenders to have been initially interviewed by police in the early days of the investigation.
 
A confirmed alibi had ruled him out of the case.
 
*
 
Further update:
 
Bid To Quiz Paedophile On Madeleine Fails Sky News
 
6:24pm UK, Monday May 25, 2009
 
Detectives in Germany have had their attempt to question paedophile Raymond Hewlett about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann rebuffed, Sky sources understand.
 
They attempted to gain access to Hewlett during a visit to a hospital in the western city of Aachen, where he is receiving cancer treatment.
 
They were refused entry upon arrival at reception.
 
Sky News understands the negotiations to meet Hewlett have been conducted via his wife.
 
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell told Sky News that Hewlett has not refused to speak to the couple's detectives.
 
He said negotiations are continuing with local authorities.
 
The private detectives are seeking relevant permissions and remain confident they will speak to Hewlett within the next day or two.
 
Speaking outside the hospital, one of the investigators Dave Edgar said: "The gentleman that's in here is not a suspect, he is someone who we are interested in.
 
"I would not describe him as a suspect. We want to eliminate him from the investigation."
 
He added: "We want to speak to him, sooner rather than later."
 
The Aachen prosecutor's office said British authorities asked their German counterparts last Friday "to interrogate a Britsh national who is being treated at a hospital here and to take a DNA sample of him".
 
Spokesman Robert Deller said the explanation given for the request was "that in 1975, he allegedly committed a rape and an attempted rape".
 
He added: "This is in no way related to Madeleine McCann or her case."
 
Last week, Mr Mitchell confirmed 64-year-old Hewlett as a "person of interest" in the investigation.
 
The convicted paedophile was living about an hour's drive from Praia da Luz, Portugal, where Madeleine vanished while on holiday with her family in May 2007.
 
He was among a number of known child sex offenders to have been initially interviewed by police in the early days of the investigation.
 
A confirmed alibi had ruled him out of the case.

 
Maddie suspect Raymond H.: 'My wife is getting me a lawyer!', 25 May 2009
 
Maddie suspect Raymond H.: 'My wife is getting me a lawyer!' Bild.de
 
BILD talks to paedophile accused in Madeleine McCann case
 
By JUPP LEY and BIRGIT BEGASS
25 May 2009
 
The British paedophile who has become a suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has spoken out about the claims for the first time from his hospital bed in Germany.
 
Convicted sex offender Raymond H. (64) spoke to BILD at the University Hospital Aachen in western Germany.
 
The new suspect in the Maddie case looked noticeably weak after returning from intensive care to a normal ward as he battles cancer, and had long unkempt hair and was wearing an anti-thrombosis sock.
 
His role in the little girl's disappearance is being reviewed again after a British couple became suspicious after getting to know him in Portugal. He had originally been questioned by Portuguese police but was found to have a 15-year-old girl as an alibi.
 
But now investigators believe that Raymond H., a former soldier in the British army who was found guilty of abducting and raping a 12-year-old girl in 1972, bears a striking resemblance to a photo fit picture of a suspect drawn up by police.
 
The convicted criminal, who has 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 in 1988, was reportedly with his family in the area when Madeleine disappeared from the resort of Praia da Luz.
 
BILD spoke to him at his hospital bed:
 
BILD: How are you?
 
RH: "Not very good, more like bad!"
 
BILD: When will you be questioned regarding the Maddie McCann case?
 
RH: What do the police want from me? The investigations in Portugal were closed a long time ago.
 
BILD: And what about the cases from 1975, in which you are accused of being involved in the rape of two young girls?
 
RH: I don't have anything to do with that. I came to Germany because my wife and our six children live here. My wife is looking for a lawyer for me at the moment.
 
Robert Deller, the senior public prosecutor in Aachen, said: "We are waiting for the British criminal investigators, who have not yet arrived. But there is no rush, they will probably be here some time this week."

 
Madeleine: Police Are 'Ignoring' New Clues, 25 May 2009
 

Madeleine: Police Are 'Ignoring' New Clues Sky News
 
Martin Brunt, crime correspondent
10:33pm UK, Monday May 25, 2009
 
New clues in the Madeleine McCann case are being ignored by Portuguese police, according to sources in Portugal.

Madeleine McCann's disappearance sparked a huge search
Madeleine McCann's disappearance sparked a huge search

Witnesses who have tried to pass on information about potential new sightings of Madeleine have been told by detectives they will not investigate "because the case is closed and Madeleine is dead."
 
It is understood details of four possible sightings were given to the Algarve detectives recently but were not followed up.
 
The Portuguese authorities called off their investigation last summer when they ran out of leads, saying they would re-open it only for a major development.
 
The revelation comes as the McCann's private investigators gave new suspect Raymond Hewlett, 64, an ultimatum to talk to them.
 
Madeleine Investigators In Germany

They spent the day trying to see him in the hospital in Aachen, Germany, where he is being treated for cancer.
 
They hoped his wife Marianna had paved the way for an interview, but they were not allowed in and Hewlett made no offer to speak to the detectives.
 
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell told Sky News: "Raymond Hewlett has been made well aware of the investigators' desire to speak to him and the former detectives helping Kate and Gerry are still awaiting a definitive response from him.
 
"Clearly, if he is to be eliminated in the investigation it is incumbent on him to speak to them while they are in Germany and they continue to hope he will do so.
 
"The investigators will overnight in Germany and they are hopeful they can talk to Mr Hewlett by Tuesday morning at the latest."
 
Hewlett, a paedophile with a string of convictions in the UK, was living on the Algarve an hour's drive from the resort where Madeleine vanished two years ago.
 
He has denied any involvement in her disappearance.

 
Cops ignore new Maddie evidence, 26 May 2009
 
Cops ignore new Maddie evidence The Sun
 
By ALEX WEST in Aachen
Published: 26 May 2009
 
POLICE have shunned FOUR potential new leads in the hunt for Madeleine McCann.
 
Officers in Portugal are telling people coming forward with information that Maddie is DEAD - and the case is CLOSED.
 
The shocking revelation came as new suspect Raymond Hewlett, a convicted British paedophile, refused to speak to detectives working for Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry.
 
Drifter Hewlett, 64, is in intensive care in Aachen, Germany, with throat cancer.
 
He was living near the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz when Maddie disappeared two years ago.
 
The double blow has angered sources close to the investigation, who confirmed there are still a number of OTHER paedophiles living in that area who had still NOT been ruled out.
 
One source said: "In the past week, three or four people went to Portuguese police with information and were told not to worry them because the case is closed and she is dead.
 
"But there are sex offenders throughout the Algarve. It's difficult to see how they've all been eliminated."
 
They added: "The Portuguese police have been unhelpful.
 
"They have been following the McCann's investigators everywhere they go but have not been co-operating in the least bit."
 
Disgrace
 
Sources also said fresh information gathered by British police was being largely ignored too.
 
A family friend of the McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, said: "Frankly, it's a disgrace - it's beyond frustrating. It is exactly the attitude we've been up against for months.
 
"They closed the inquiry and were not prepared to lift a finger.
 
"Yet Kate and Gerry's team are still providing the Portuguese with information - for example on the developments with Hewlett."
 
The team still hopes the Aachen public prosecutor will soon order a DNA test on Hewlett to see if it matched unidentified samples taken from the McCanns' holiday apartment.
 
Yesterday former Det Insp Dave Edgar, who is leading the probe, told newsmen: "If he's got nothing to hide, he should speak to us.
 
"It's a matter of urgency because of his medical condition."
 
Hewlett - jailed in 1972 for abducting and raping a girl of 12 - allegedly made sinister comments after the disappearance of Maddie, then three.
 
British police hope to speak to him over a 1975 indecent assault in West Yorks.

 
Madeleine McCann detectives urge paedophile Ray Hewlett to talk to them, 26 May 2009
 
Madeleine McCann detectives urge paedophile Ray Hewlett to talk to them Daily Mirror
 
By Stephen Moyes in Aachen and Ryan Parry
26/05/2009
 
A detective working for the McCanns yesterday urged paedophile Ray Hewlett: "Talk to us and prove you’ve nothing to hide."
 
Dave Edgar issued his challenge after Hewlett refused to be interviewed in a German cancer hospital about where he was when Madeleine vanished.
 
He will try again today to get Hewlett, 64, to talk. He said: "There's nothing ruling him out of the investigation. If he's got nothing to hide he should speak...His evidence could be crucial."
 
Together with fellow detective Arthur Cowley, they were frustrated yesterday after flying to see Hewlett in a German hospital where he is recovering from throat cancer only to have him refuse to talk to them.
 
Former detective inspector Mr Edgar, speaking from the hospital in Aachen, said: "It is desperately disappointing because we have flown a long way out here to see him.
 
"There is nothing ruling Hewlett out of the investigation. If he's got nothing to hide he should speak to us."
 
Hewlett's partner Mariana also refused to talk to the pair, who are working for Kate and Gerry McCann, when they rang her flat yesterday.
 
Mr Edgar and Mr Cowley want to ask Hewlett about claims that he and his family were camping an hour's drive from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished from the McCanns' flat there on May 3, 2007.
 
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the investigators would try again today to persuade 64-year-old Hewlett to see them.
 
He added: "Raymond Hewlett is now well aware that the investigators wish to speak to him. However the investigators are still waiting for a definitive response from Mr Hewlett. Clearly, if he is to be eliminated from their inquiries, it is incumbent on Mr Hewlett to talk to the investigators and the investigators continue to hope that he will do so.
 
"To that end, the investigators will stay in Germany with a view to interviewing him on Tuesday at the latest."
 
The detectives arrived in Aachen on Sunday and met German Mariana, mother of six of Hewlett's children.
 
Mr Edgar said: "We spent 10 minutes with Mariana. We asked for a message to be sent through her that we need to talk to Hewlett.
 
"We were unsure at that point whether she would co-operate or not.
 
"It would appear certain now that he does not want to talk to us. We want to know where Hewlett was when Madeleine McCann went missing.
 
"Does he know anything about Madeleine McCann and will he speak to us? This is the first named person we have flown out to see. We want to eliminate this man from our inquiries as quickly as possible.
 
"His evidence could be crucial but we won't know until we've spoken to him.
 
"It is a matter of urgency because of his medical condition."
 
A friend of the McCanns said: "If our men come away from Germany empty handed, that begs more questions than it does answers."
 
Hewlett, jailed three times in the UK for sex assaults on young girls, has strenuously denied having anything to do with Madeleine's disappearance.
 
The British investigators cannot force Hewlett to answer their questions because private detectives do not have police powers.
 
Ex-fairground worker Hewlett is in an intensive care ward. He is said to have asked the hospital to remove his details from their computer system.
 
The McCanns' friend added: "The hospital is now refusing to confirm if Hewlett is in there and we know he is.
 
"His wife initially was prepared to convey messages to Hewlett but is now playing silly games." The investigators yesterday saw Aachen's state prosecutor Lutz Bern Klau to ask him to set up a meeting with Hewlett.
 
But Mr Klau said: "Germany is a free country. Hewlett is not wanted in this country for any crime. There is nothing I can do to help the private detectives.."
 
Mr Klau did say his office is assisting West Yorkshire police with their request to speak to Hewlett in connection with an alleged sex attack in 1975.
 
He said no request for help had been submitted by Portuguese police, who are still in charge of the official Madeleine inquiry.

 
She is dead, Portuguese police tell new Maddie informants, as detectives are blocked from quizzing paedophile, 26 May 2009
 
She is dead, Portuguese police tell new Maddie informants, as detectives are blocked from quizzing paedophile Daily Mail
 
By SAM GREENHILL
Last updated at 9:39 AM on 26th May 2009
 
Portuguese police have dismissed up to four potential Madeleine McCann leads in the past week by telling informers: 'The case is closed, she is dead.'
 
All the witnesses who came forward offering information about the missing youngster were waved away by indifferent officers in the Algarve.
 
The revelation was described as a 'disgrace' by friends of Kate and Gerry McCann, who are spearheading a renewed appeal to find their daughter two years after she vanished in Portugal.
 
Yesterday two private detectives employed by the couple were rebuffed as they tried to question paedophile Raymond Hewlett in his hospital bed in Germany.
 
Former soldier Hewlett, 62, who was living in the Algarve when Madeleine went missing and has a history of sex attacks on girls, hid in his room and refused to see the pair.
 
Hewlett, who has cancer, is one of several fresh leads that have flooded in to investigators in the past few weeks.
 
The McCanns are privately furious that the Portuguese police - who in theory are still in charge of the inquiry - have refused to accept new tip-offs.
 
A source close to the investigation said: 'In the last week, three or four people have approached the Portuguese police with information, and they were told not to worry them because the case was closed and she is dead.'
 
It is understood these people later gave their information directly to the McCanns' private detectives.
 
But the source said: 'What if there are other people who tried to give information and then simply gave up when they were sent away? They could have been squandering potentially significant new leads.'
 
Although Portuguese prosecutors announced last year they were shelving the Madeleine case, Leicestershire Police still refer new leads to them and claim the Portuguese are still in charge of the inquiry.
 
A friend of the McCanns - both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire - said: 'It's a disgrace frankly, it's beyond frustrating. It is exactly the attitude that we have been up against for months.
 
'They closed the inquiry and were not prepared to lift a finger.'
 
Two private detectives, former Detective Inspector Dave Edgar and former Detective Sergeant Arthur Cowley, employed by the McCanns flew to Aachen in Germany on Sunday night in an attempt to question Hewlett.
 
They spent ten minutes talking to his German wife Marianna Schmuker in her council apartment in the city.
 
But when they visited the hospital yesterday, Hewlett - who has spent much of his life in jail or on the run from police - made it plain he had no intention of cooperating.
 
Mr Edgar said: 'If he's got nothing to hide, he should speak to us. It is a matter of urgency because of his medical condition.'
 
The two investigators also came up against a wall of German bureaucracy.
 
Because Hewlett is not suspected of a crime in Germany, the authorities cannot compel him to cooperate - unless they receive a request from British Police.
 
However, West Yorkshire police have confirmed they are 'actively seeking' Hewlett in connection with an indecent assault on an eight-year-old in 1975.
 
Yesterday sick letters he wrote to his own daughter were revealed. Gina, 41, was 20 when he scrawled the self-pitying missives from his cell at Risley remand centre in Warrington, Cheshire, in March 1988.
 
In the letters he told her she was his 'favourite girl, the only trouble is you grew up'.
 
Hewlett's son Wayne, 40, a builder, said he was savagely beaten by him as a child. Wayne cut all ties with his father 20 years ago, and said: 'He is a monster.'

 
Senior prosecutor of Aachen: "There is no connection with the Maddie Case', 26 May 2009
 

Senior prosecutor of Aachen: "There is no connection with the Maddie Case' wdr.de [West German Radio Cologne]

26 May 2009
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
 
British media Speculate on Connection
 
Maddie Case: Is there a link to Aachen?
 
A DNA test could be taken from a British citizen living near Aachen. British mainstream media speculate on a connection with the Maddie case, however the public prosecutor's office of Aachen says there is no connection.
 
In May 2007, three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday's resort in the south of Portugal. Till this day the inquiries of the police have produced no tangible results. The parents of the British girl have begun an unprecedented media campaign launched after the disappearance to get informations on the whereabouts of their daughter.
 
Now British mainstream media speculate on a new link - which could lead to Aachen.
 
The Background: In a request for judicial assistance the British police sent on Friday (22.05.09) to the public prosecutor's office of Aachen a rogatory letter where they asked to hear the British citizen who lives with his family near Aachen, and to take from him a DNA sample.
 
Speculation in English newspapers
 
According to the British media reports, this is a 64-year-old man who would have lived near the resort at the time of Maddie's disappearance. He would have been condemned several times because of sexual offences to young women.
 
The public prosecutor's office of Aachen confirms there is no connection with the Maddie case in the British official aid request. "It is a request about two cases, one regarding a rape and one attempted rape, in 1975," says Robert Deller of the public prosecutor's office of Aachen.
 
As British Private detectives want to be present during the hearing, now, a date must be found first in which the man can be heard and if necessary a DNA swab could be taken. Regarding the DNA test that must be decided in England, according to the senior prosecutor of Aachen, Robert Deller.

 
BREAKING NEWS: Convicted paedophile 'nothing to hide' over missing Madeleine, 26 May 2009
 
BREAKING NEWS: Convicted paedophile 'nothing to hide' over missing Madeleine London Evening Standard
 
Allan Hall
26.05.09
 
The convicted paedophile under investigation over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann today said he was innocent and had "nothing to hide".
 
Raymond Hewlett spoke out for the first time as detectives hired by Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry have flown home to the UK after failing to secure an interview with the 64-year-old.
 
Emerging from the hospital in the German city of Aachen where he is being treated for throat cancer, Hewlett said: "I have nothing to hide - I am willing to talk with them."
 
Hewlett, who was in a wheelchair and looked gravely ill, had an operation on his throat two weeks ago and was only moved from the intensive care ward of the University Clinic to a recovery ward yesterday.
 
Repeated attempts by the detectives to get past hospital bureaucracy to see Hewlett ended without success.
 
But today he said he had "nothing to do" with the disappearance of the little girl who vanished on 3 May 2007. He added: "I thought the Portugese police closed this case long ago."
 
Wanted by West Yorkshire police over a 1975 assault on a child he said: "I have got nothing to do with that. I haven't been interrogated by any British police officer over that.
 
"I came to Germany because my wife and our six children live here. My wife is looking for a lawyer for me at the moment", he added.
 
Hewlett's partner Marianna Schmuecker, mother to his children, said: "Just leave him alone. He is innocent in all of this."
 
The detectives who tried to interview him said: "We will be back. We are confident he will want to talk to us eventually if only to clear his name."
 
Hewlett came to be a suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine after a British couple revealed he was staying near the resort in May 2007 when she vanished.
 
Alan and Cindy Thompson met Hewlett and became suspicious of his past while he was living in a traveller's camp in Tavira, about 70 miles from Praia da Luz.
 
German prosecutors in Aachen said they are awaiting the arrival of British detectives over the 1975 case and have been asked to request a DNA sample from him.
 
If Hewlett refuses they will apply to a judge to force him to comply.

 
Madeleine Investigation Turns To Farce, 26 May 2009
 
Madeleine Investigation Turns To Farce Sky News
 
BREAKING NEWS 12:57pm UK, Tuesday May 26, 2009
Martin Brunt, crime correspondent
 
Efforts by private investigators to quiz a new suspect in the Madeleine McCann case turned to farce today.
 
Raymond Hewlett, 64, this morning agreed to meet the detectives - but they were already waiting to board a flight back to the UK.
 
They then refused to return to the hospital in Germany where he is being treated for cancer.
 
Yesterday, the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell gave Hewlett an ultimatum to meet the investigators by this morning to "help clear his name".
 
Hewlett, a convicted paedophile, wheeled himself into the car park of the hospital in Aachen and told waiting reporters he would speak to the detectives.
 
"I have nothing to hide. I am willing to talk with them," he said, denying any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance from a holiday apartment in Portugal two years ago.
 
But it was too late.
 
Mr Mitchell told Sky News: "He should have indicated yesterday that he was happy to talk to us.
 
"We welcome his indication that he will speak to us, but it will have to be rearranged.
 
"That meeting will take place in the near future, but we won't reveal where and when."
 
The investigators arrived in Aachen on Saturday and tried to arrange a meeting through Hewlett's wife Marianna.
 
But the hospital authorities would not let them in - and Hewlett apparently made no effort to see the detectives over the weekend.
 
Yesterday, former Det Insp Dave Edgar, who is leading the probe, said: "If he's got nothing to hide, he should speak to us.
 
"It's a matter of urgency because of his medical condition."
 
Hewlett was living an hour's drive from Praia da Luz, where Madeleine vanished on May 3 2007.
 
He has since aroused suspicion through comments he is said to have made to a British couple who befriended him.
 
It is understood the Portuguese police were aware of Hewlett at some stage during their investigation, but it is unclear if they interviewed him.
 
Sources in Portugal have said that new, potential sightings of Madeleine are being ignored by police, who believe Madeleine is dead.
 
Portuguese police abandoned their investigation last year after unearthing no evidence of what happened to Madeleine.

 
I'm innocent: Paedophile denies part in Maddie abduction as he agrees to speak with detectives, 26 May 2009
 

I'm innocent: Paedophile denies part in Maddie abduction as he agrees to speak with detectives Daily Mail (orignal article no longer available online)
 
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 5:30 PM on 26th May 2009
 
The convicted paedophile wanted for questioning over the disappearance of Madeleine MacCann finally spoke today to deny any involvement in her abduction.
 
Raymond Hewlett, 62, is said to have been staying around an hour's drive from the McCanns' holiday flat in Praia da Luz  when Madeleine vanished in May 2007.
 
But today Hewlett denied having any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance and said he would speak to the McCanns' private detectives.

Raymond Hewlett outside a hospital in Aachen today where he denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance

Raymond Hewlett outside a hospital in Aachen today where he denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance
 
He told reporters outside the hospital in Aachen, Germany, where he is being treated for cancer: 'I have nothing to hide. I am willing to talk with them. I thought the Portuguese police closed this case long ago.
 
'Hewlett has been jailed several times for sexual offences against young girls, and it is believed that a number of police forces have been trying to track him down.
 
Over the weekend, the family's private investigators flew in to quiz him about his movements around the time that Madeleine went missing.
 
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: 'The investigators are pleased to hear that Mr Hewlett has agreed to speak to them.
 
'An interview with him will be arranged and will take place in due course.
 
'We will not be going into public detail about where or when that interview will take place.
 
'Mr Hewlett has again denied any involvement in Madeleine's abduction, and if it helps to eliminate him from the private investigation then he has done the right thing by indicating that he will speak to the investigators currently helping Kate and Gerry McCann.'
 
Portuguese police have dismissed up to four potential Madeleine McCann leads in the past week by telling informers: 'The case is closed, she is dead.'
 
All the witnesses who came forward offering information about the missing youngster were waved away by indifferent officers in the Algarve.
 
The revelation was described as a 'disgrace' by friends of Kate and Gerry McCann, who are spearheading a renewed appeal to find their daughter two years after she vanished in Portugal.
 
Yesterday, two private detectives employed by the couple were rebuffed as they tried to question Hewlett in his hospital bed.
 
Former soldier Hewlett, who was living in the Algarve when Madeleine went missing and has a history of sex attacks on girls, hid in his room and refused to see the pair.
 
Hewlett is one of several fresh leads that have flooded in to investigators in the past few weeks.
 
The McCanns are privately furious that the Portuguese police - who in theory are still in charge of the inquiry - have refused to accept new tip-offs.
 
A source close to the investigation said: 'In the last week, three or four people have approached the Portuguese police with information, and they were told not to worry them because the case was closed and she is dead.'
 
It is understood these people later gave their information directly to the McCanns' private detectives.
 
But the source said: 'What if there are other people who tried to give information and then simply gave up when they were sent away? They could have been squandering potentially significant new leads.'
 
Although Portuguese prosecutors announced last year they were shelving the Madeleine case, Leicestershire Police still refer new leads to them and claim the Portuguese are still in charge of the inquiry.
 
A friend of the McCanns - both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire - said: 'It's a disgrace frankly, it's beyond frustrating. It is exactly the attitude that we have been up against for months.
 
'They closed the inquiry and were not prepared to lift a finger.'
 
Two private detectives, former Detective Inspector Dave Edgar and former Detective Sergeant Arthur Cowley, employed by the McCanns flew to Aachen in Germany on Sunday night in an attempt to question Hewlett.
 
They spent ten minutes talking to his German wife Marianna Schmuker in her council apartment in the city.
 
But when they visited the hospital yesterday, Hewlett - who has spent much of his life in jail or on the run from police - made it plain he had no intention of cooperating.
 
Mr Edgar said: 'If he's got nothing to hide, he should speak to us. It is a matter of urgency because of his medical condition.'
 
The two investigators also came up against a wall of German bureaucracy.
 
Because Hewlett is not suspected of a crime in Germany, the authorities cannot compel him to cooperate - unless they receive a request from British Police.
 
However, West Yorkshire police have confirmed they are 'actively seeking' Hewlett in connection with an indecent assault on an eight-year-old in 1975.
 
Yesterday sick letters he wrote to his own daughter were revealed. Gina, 41, was 20 when he scrawled the self-pitying missives from his cell at Risley remand centre in Warrington, Cheshire, in March 1988.
 
In the letters he told her she was his 'favourite girl, the only trouble is you grew up'.
 
Hewlett's son Wayne, 40, a builder, said he was savagely beaten by him as a child. Wayne cut all ties with his father 20 years ago, and said: 'He is a monster.'

 
Maddie cops close in on second paedo Brit, 27 May 2009
 
Maddie cops close in on second paedo Brit Daily Star
 
By Jerry Lawton
27th May 2009 (first appeared online 23:00 PM, 26th May 2009)
 
Detectives hunting Madeleine McCann want to quiz a second Brit paedophile living near the apartment where she was snatched.
 
The cops believe the convicted sex offender could be the "spotty" mystery man seen casing the family's holiday flat in the days leading up to the abduction.
 
The man was investigated by Portuguese police shortly after Maddie disappeared from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3 2007, days before her fourth birthday.
 
They cleared him after a 12-year-girl who had seen the prowler was shown the suspect's picture and said it was not the same man.
 
But 100 pages of notes relating to this part of the investigation were withdrawn from 17 volumes of police case files released to the public after a request from British police.
 
Now private eyes hired by Maddie's parents want to question him themselves. The drama came after another Brit paedophile, Raymond Hewlett, agreed to be interviewed in a bid to prove he did not snatch Maddie.
 
The ex-soldier emerged from a German hospital following throat cancer surgery saying: "I have nothing to hide. I'm willing to talk."
 
Hewlett, who was staying on a campsite an hour from the apartment when Madeleine vanished, served six years in jail for abducting and sexually assaulting a girl of 14 at knifepoint.
 
West Yorkshire Police also want to quiz him about an indecent assault on an eight-year-old in 1975.
 
Last night McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "We are pleased Mr Hewlett has agreed to speak to the investigators. If an interview eliminates him from their inquiry he has done the right thing."

The private eyes think Maddie was taken by two men – a "spotter" who cased the apartment and "snatcher" who struck while her doctor parents Kate, 41, and Gerry, 40, were dining with pals in a nearby tapas bar.
 
Mr Mitchell said the detectives would quiz Hewlett before flying to Portugal to question the other man.
 
Police sources said he had been eliminated because his bank card was used in Lisbon – three hours from Praia da Luz – at the time Madeleine was abducted.
 
He was proved not to have made any mobile phone calls from the Algarve and his wife also gave him an alibi. But Mr Mitchell said: "This man is on our radar."

 
Confronted, 27 May 2009
 

Confronted The Sun

Refusal ... fugitive sex fiend Raymond Hewlett curses Sun man Alex West
Refusal ... fugitive sex fiend Raymond Hewlett curses Sun man Alex West

From ALEX WEST in Aachen, Germany
Published: Today (27 May 2009)
 
THIS is the moment The Sun confronted paedophile Raymond Hewlett over Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
 
We stepped in to grill the convicted child abuser after he stonewalled private eyes acting for Maddie's parents Gerry and Kate.
 
British fugitive Hewlett, 62, emerged as a suspect after it was revealed he lived near Praia da Luz at the time Maddie went missing from the Portuguese resort - and was said to be obsessed by the case.
 
We caught up with the foul-mouthed fiend as he sat in a wheelchair, gawping at passers-by including children, outside a hospital in Aachen, Germany. He is being treated there for throat cancer. This is how the confrontation unfolded:
 
THE SUN: Can you speak to us about Madeleine McCann?
 
HEWLETT: I don't know what you're talking about.

Wanted ... child passes Hewlett before we quizzed him
Wanted ... child passes Hewlett before we quizzed him

SUN: Did you have anything to do with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?
 
HEWLETT: No answer
 
SUN: Could you tell us where you were when Madeleine McCann disappeared?
 
HEWLETT: It's got nothing to do with you.
 
SUN: Why don't you eliminate yourself from the inquiry for the sake of the McCanns?
 
HEWLETT: I don't have to speak to you. F*** off.
 
SUN: Why haven't you spoken to the detectives?
 
HEWLETT: I will. Just f*** off out of here. I've done nothing wrong.
 
SUN: Well, you've been on the run for more than 30 years and you're wanted for questioning by West Yorks Police.
 
HEWLETT: What for? I don't believe it.
 
SUN: A sexual assault on an eight-year-old girl in 1975.
 
At this point Hewlett, who lives in Aachen with partner Mariana, 33, and their six kids, let fly with another four-letter volley before leaping from the wheelchair and dashing inside the hospital.
 
The McCanns' detectives flew home yesterday after their attempts to talk to Hewlett foundered.
 
But they insisted an interview WILL be arranged later.
 
Meanwhile in Portugal, the team was working on fresh information about another suspect seen lurking near the McCanns' apartment when Maddie, then three, vanished in 2007.
 
Pursued
 
The man was the subject of 100 pages of the Portuguese police's file on the case - but was not pursued after insisting he was in the nation's capital Lisbon at the time.
 
A source close to the private probe said the suspect has a rented apartment in Praia da Luz and is of "significant interest". His alibi was described as "a bit shaky".
 
It also emerged there have been SEVEN sex attacks on children of British tourists in the Algarve over the last four years. All involved kids molested during break-ins.

 
Madeleine McCann hunters claim the Algarve is awash with paedophiles, 27 May 2009
 

Madeleine McCann hunters claim the Algarve is awash with paedophiles Daily Mail
 
By SAM GREENHILL
Last updated at 1:49 AM on 27th May 2009
 
Detectives hunting for Madeleine McCann believe the Algarve is awash with child molesters, it emerged yesterday.
 
They have discovered there have been seven sexual assaults involving the children of tourists in the region in the last four years.
 
The detectives have narrowed their search to a handful of predatory paedophiles - two of whom still live in the resort of Praia da Luz.
 
One is of 'significant interest' because investigators now suspect the alibi he gave Portuguese police is 'a bit shaky'.
 
The detectives, who are working for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, are convinced the answer to her disappearance lies within 500 yards of the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz where she vanished in May 2007 days before her fourth birthday.
 
They are focusing on four or five paedophiles living in the Algarve who 'fit the bill' for the type of person they think snatched her. All but one is British.
 
The new leads emerged as convicted paedophile Raymond Hewlett spoke for the first time about reports linking him to Madeleine's disappearance - he was in the Algarve in May 2007.
 
Questioned outside the German hospital where he recovering from surgery for throat cancer, the 62-year-old Briton said he had 'done nothing wrong'.
 
Former British policemen Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley, who are working for Mr and Mrs McCann, want to eliminate Hewlett from their inquiries.
 
A source close to the investigation said there were other, more significant, lines of inquiry than Hewlett.

Daily Mail, 27 May 2009

'There are 38 known sex offenders in the Algarve,' the source said. 'The area is a magnet for paedophiles. There have been seven sexual assaults involving the children of tourists in the Algarve in the last four years.
 
They all have the same modus operandi as Madeleine's disappearance - that is, a break-in at a holiday apartment and children molested.
 
'Five happened before Madeleine's abduction, and two afterwards. One took place a month before she vanished.'
 
The McCanns' detectives have learnt their names from a combination of the Portuguese police files and their own inquiries.
 
It is unclear to what extent any of the seven assaults were investigated by the local police.
 
But the McCanns' investigators want to know if they could be linked to each other - and to her disappearance.
 
The source added: 'We are looking at a man who is of significant interest. He has an alibi for the night Madeleine vanished, but it is a bit shaky. He has lived in an apartment in Praia da Luz for some years.
 
'His alibi was that his son was in hospital in Lisbon and there is a record of a bank withdrawal from a cashpoint machine in Lisbon.
 
But this could have been done by his wife, and she has a question mark over her character.'
 
The man has previously been investigated by Portuguese police in relation to Madeleine because of reports that he was spotted lurking near the family's apartment. But he was ruled out.
 
Last week, convicted paedophile Hewlett was named as being 'of interest' to the Madeleine investigators.
 
Yesterday, he finally spoke and offered to cooperate with the two British detectives who had flown to Aachen in Germany to see him in hospital. But by the time he made his offer, they had already set off empty-handed to the UK.
 
Hewlett, who was in a wheelchair, launched a tirade at reporters when they asked him if he knew anything about Madeleine's disappearance.
 
He snapped: 'It's got nothing to do with you. I don't have to speak to you. ****.' Asked why he had not spoken to the detectives, he said: 'I will. Just **** off, I've done nothing wrong.'

 
I will talk, 27 May 2009
 
I will talk Daily Mirror
 
By Stephen Moyes
27/05/2009
 
Hewlett's U-turn after snubbing detectives
 
Paedophile Ray Hewlett yesterday finally agreed to speak to the private detectives searching for missing Madeleine McCann.
 
He left the hospital where he is being treated to get some fresh air when we asked him why he had snubbed investigators.
 
Insisting he had nothing to do with the girl's disappearance, he confirmed he would now talk with the search team who are looking to rule him out of their inquiry.
 
Looking pale and gaunt, dad-of-six Hewlett, 64, then declared: "I've done nothing wrong."
 
His U-turn came after initially refusing to speak to the two former policemen - hired by the McCanns to find their daughter - who had flown to Germany to quiz him.
 
Although Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley were on their way back to the UK yesterday, a new interview is now due to be set up.
 
It is claimed Hewlett, who is recovering from throat cancer at Aachen Hospital in Germany, was camping with his family an hour's drive from the resort where Madeleine disappeared two years ago.
 
Yesterday, the McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "The investigators are pleased to hear Mr Hewlett has agreed to speak to them.
 
"We will not be going into public detail about where or when that interview will take place. Mr Hewlett has again denied any involvement WANDERER in Madeleine's abduction and, if it helps to eliminate him from the private investigation, then he has done the right thing by indicating he will speak to the investigators."
 
Meanwhile, a source close to the probe into the disappearance of Madeleine yesterday said the investigators were following a new line of inquiry surrounding a number of alleged assaults in the Praia da Luz area of Portugal where she disappeared.
 
The source said: "There have been seven sex assaults involving children of tourists in the area in the last four years. They all have the same modus operandi as Madeleine's abduction - that is a break-in at a holiday apartment. Five happened before her abduction and two after.
 
"One took place a month before Madeleine vanished. These Hewlett paedophile incidents are of relevance. They were attacks on children involving a man burgling a property.
 
"And we are working through a list of 38 known sex offenders in the Algarve."
 
It is hoped the information, which was buried in Portuguese police files, will lead to a breakthrough in the search for Maddy.
 
The source also revealed there is a handful of men who are "of interest" to the inquiry. One came under investigation after a witness claimed she saw a man lurking near the McCanns' holiday apartment. The source added: "All but one of them are British."
 
Inquiry chief Mr Edgar said evidence points to vital clues remaining in Praia da Luz rather than Morocco, Spain or elsewhere.
 
He said: "We need to put one foot on the ball, stop flying around the world and take a good look at the evidence."

 
Madeleine: 'Snatcher' lives only 500 yards from flat, 27 May 2009
 

Madeleine: 'Snatcher' lives only 500 yards from flat Daily Express
 
'Answer to Maddie kidnap lies yards from flat' (alternative online headline)

Daily Express, 27 May 2009
Daily Express, 27 May 2009

By Nick Fagge and Martin Evans
Wednesday May 27, 2009
 
THE key to solving Madeleine McCann's disappearance may lie within 500 yards of her family's ­holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, investigators believe.
 
The hunt for the missing youngster has dramatically switched back to Portugal, where investigators last night said they were focusing their probe on a predatory paedophile still living in the area.
 
Investigators who have carried out a major case review have said all the clues to solving the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance more than two years ago centre on the popular family holiday resort in the Algarve.
 
A source close to the investigation said: "All the evidence points to Praia da Luz, not Morocco or Spain or elsewhere.
 
"We think the answer to Madeleine's disappearance lies within 500 yards of the holiday apartment. They say there is no evidence that a vehicle was used in the abduction, shortly before her fourth birthday, or that she was spirited away out to sea."
 
The breakthrough comes after a series of new leads received by private detectives working for Kate and Gerry McCann.
 
The source said: "Of the four new leads, there is one we are particularly interested in."
 
 
The detectives identified a suspicious man who was in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine's disappearance and is still living there. The source said: "He is one of a handful of men we are looking at. There are a couple in Praia da Luz and two elsewhere on the Algarve. All but one are British."
 
The latest suspect has been deemed especially "significant" after a witness came forward to say they had seen him lurking near the McCanns' apartment around the time of Madeleine's disappearance.
 
The source said: "We are looking at a man. He is of significant interest." Former British police detectives David Edgar and Arthur Cowley recently returned from the Algarve and Germany after interviewing a series of witnesses.
 
Last night the pair welcomed convicted paedophile Raymond Hewlett's offer to answer their questions. They hope to interview him about Madeleine's disappearance in the "near future", a close source said.
 
Hewlett, 64, is said to have been staying around an hour's drive from the McCanns' holiday flat in Praia da Luz in Portugal when Madeleine vanished in May 2007. He is now being treated in hospital in Aachen, Germany for throat cancer.
 
He has denied any involvement and the investigators continue to believe that the Praia da Luz area provides the key to finding Madeleine.
 
They have discovered that the area has a number of paedophiles and that tourists have been targets of sex offenders.
 
Holidaymakers have also ­frequently been the target of burglaries. Edgar and Cowley were hired by the McCanns to pick up the pieces of the investigation after Spanish agency Metodo 3 failed to find the missing youngster, now aged six.
 
Ex-Detective Inspector Dave Edgar said: "The only people capable of running an investigation like this are those trained as an SIO – Senior Investigating Officer." Edgar and his colleague, ex-Detective Sergeant Arthur Cowley, receive up to 200 inquiries every day from people claiming to have new evidence.
 
A source close to the investigation said: "There are 38 known sex offenders in the Algarve. There have been seven sexual assaults involving the children of tourists in the Praia da Luz area in the past four years. They all have the same modus operandi as Madeleine’s abduction.
 
"There were attacks on children involving burgling a property and indecent assaults on the kids. Five happened before Madeleine's abduction, two happened afterwards. One took place a month before Madeleine vanished."

 
Maddie: Detectives "clown around" in Germany, 27 May 2009
 
Maddie: Detectives "clown around" in Germany Duarte Levy Wordpress for 24horas
 
Duarte Levy
May 27, 2009 • 10:54 am
 
The two former English policemen that were hired by the McCann couple, returned to England yesterday without having questioned the alleged "suspect" in the disappearance of Madeleine, after the German authorities classified their presence in Aachen as "a clown act", accusing them of "trying to pressure the local judicial authorities", using contacts among the British diplomatic representatives in Germany.
 
The private investigators – who have no police authority whatsoever in England or abroad – wanted to question Raymond Hewlett, a British citizen aged 64 who lived in Tavira when Maddie disappeared in Praia da Luz, and who has served prison sentences in three paedophilia cases that involved teenagers.
 
The prosecutor in Aachen, in statements to 24horas, confirmed that the English authorities manifested interest in questioning Hewlett about two old cases but that "the official request doesn't even mention the Maddie case and does not request the individual's detention."
 
For the German authorities, everything that has been published in the English tabloids, "has been nothing but pure speculation" about a sad disappearance case.
 
"We can't prevent the British citizen from leaving the hospital, as soon as that is possible in clinical terms, and especially if he wishes to do so," said Robert Deller, in an interview to German television before he spoke to 24horas.
 
"We are willing to cooperate with the Portuguese and English authorities but these gentlemen (the detectives) have no authority whatsoever and we'll be glad when they leave the hospital door. Them, and the journalists that they brought along," a spokesman for the police in Aachen confessed to 24horas.
 
Hewlett, who had been admitted to the University Clinic in Aachen for cancer treatment, refused to answer to the McCanns' investigators but told 24horas that on the day that Maddie disappeared, he was camped in Fuzeta, the place where he took part in the monthly market and antiques sale. The English citizen, who was never involved in paedophilia cases in our country, was denounced to the McCanns' investigators by an equally British couple, Alan and Cindy Thompson – who are known to authorities for equally having pretended that they knew where Bin Laden's hideout was located.
 
24horas tried to contact Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley, the two former policemen that form "Alpha Investigations Group", but they refused to comment on why they consider the English man a suspect, after stating that Maddie "was not abducted by a paedophile" or transported on board of any boat.
 
In Portugal, a source at the PJ in Portimão confirmed that the information that has been published about the case is being "followed attentively" but that neither the McCann couple nor their investigators "delivered or communicated any new data" to the PJ.

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