Suspect is a monster

Suspect is a monster
Daily Express
23 May 2009
By Martin Evans in London and Nick Fagge in Aachen

Family: 'We don't care if he dies'

THE daughter of the convicted paedophile wanted for questioning over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann said last night that she does not care if he dies.

Gina Hewlett, 41, said she would never forgive serial sex beast Raymond Hewlett for what he had done.

The father of eight, who has a string of convictions against children stretching back to the 1970s, is dying of cancer in a German hospital. But Gina, whose life has been shattered by her father's crimes, said she had no sympathy for him.

The chef, from Telford, Shropshire, said: "We didn't know if he was dead or alive, but now we have heard about all this we don't really care.

"While he is hundreds of miles away in Germany being treated in a hospital the rest of his family are here bearing the brunt of what he might have done. We're having to pick up the pieces and deal with all the trouble he's caused."

Hewlett, 67, was named as a suspect in the hunt for Madeleine after it was revealed he was living less than an hour's drive from Praia da Luz in Portugal when she disappeared.

The drifter, who bears a striking resemblance to the sketch of the only known suspect in the case, is also wanted for questioning by West Yorkshire police about the abduction and serious sexual assault of an eight-yearold girl from Manchester in 1975.

Gina said: "Over the years we've had hate mail sent to us and firebombs thrown through our window, all when he was linked to paedophile offences.

"Now he's being linked with taking Madeleine it will all kick off again. We don't have any sympathy for him and we never will, even when he's on his deathbed. We will never forgive him for what he's done in the past."

Detectives working for Kate and Gerry McCann are planning to speak to Hewlett at the earliest possible opportunity but face a race against time as he is losing his battle against throat cancer. He is in intensive care in a teaching hospital in the German town of Aachen.

Last night medical staff at the highdependency unit of the Universitatsklinikum told the Daily Express Hewlett was too ill to receive visitors.

The sister in charge of the intensive care ward said: "Mr Hewlett cannot speak to anyone. He is too ill to have visitors. Maybe after the weekend he will be able to receive visitors if he gets better and is transferred to a normal ward. He has a difficult story and the doctor has said no one can see him."

Hewlett has spent the past decade living a nomadic lifestyle, travelling through Europe with his 32-year-old German wife Marianne Schmucker and their five children.

But he was living near the Portuguese-Spanish border when Madeleine disappeared.

One British police source said last night: "Hewlett is one of the most dangerous paedophiles we have ever encountered. It is vital we get to him before he dies and takes any secrets he may have to the grave."

Madeleine disappeared from her parents' holiday apartment at the Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz on the evening of May 3 2007.

Hewlett, a former soldier, trawlerman and fairground worker, has an horrific record of crimes against children and has been on the Crimestoppers wanted list for the past two years.

In 1972 he was jailed for a year after being convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl he lured into his car and knocked out with paint stripper.

Six years later he received a four-year sentence for the attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl he threatened with a gun. And in 1988 he was jailed again after abducting a 14-year-old newspaper delivery girl in North Wales.

A court heard how he threatened the terrified teenager with a knife before forcing her into the boot of his car and driving her to a remote spot 100 miles away where he sexually assaulted her.

After his release from jail he moved to Scotland and later Ireland where he and Schmucker travelled around in order to evade detection.

Eventually the pair moved to a hippy commune near the Spanish-Portuguese border, where they set up home on a caravan park with their five young children.

Hewlett was diagnosed with cancer last year and was undergoing treatment at the Hospital Infanta Elena in the Spanish town of Huelva, where a five-year-old local girl, Mari Luz Cortes, went missing in January. Her body was later discovered in a nearby lake.

Weeks before British detectives were due to question him, he checked himself out of hospital and disappeared.

Hewlett, who is not on the sex offenders' register because his crimes occurred before the legislation was introduced, was interviewed by Portuguese detectives investigating Madeleine's disappearance but his involvement was ruled out when a 15-year-old girl provided him with an alibi.

Hewlett's name has also been linked to the 1975 murder of 11-year-old Lesley Molseed, whose body was found on the moors near her Rochdale home.

Hewlett's 15-year-old girlfriend at the time provided him with an alibi, but she later admitted lying, claiming she thought the case was about a stolen car.

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