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Paedo Raymond Hewlett admits visiting Madeleine holiday flats

Original Source: MIRROR: SUNDAY 23 MAY 2009
EXCLUSIVE by Simon Wright 23/05/2009
Paedo's shock confession to holiday couple: 'I know Madeleine resort very well..I’ve parked near flat several times.
The McCanns
The British paedophile linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has sensationally confessed to being outside her holiday apartment “many times”.

Convicted pervert Raymond Hewlett, 64, has admitted knowing the resort where the McCanns were holidaying “very well” and said he had parked a van close to their complex on several occasions.

And last night a man who shared a Morocco campsite with Hewlett and his family for three months described how the drifter was obsessed with the missing youngster.

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Mirror, former Scots Guard Peter Verran, 46, revealed how Hewlett, his German wife Mariana, 33, and their six children arrived at the campsite where he was holidaying in Chefchaaouen in a battered Dodge truck. It was May 2007 – shortly after Madeleine’s disappearance.

The Verrans spent three months with Hewlett
“He seemed like an old hippy traveller who had dropped out,” said Peter, who runs an internet business selling antiques and collectibles from his home in Fowey, Cornwall.

“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 had often parked his van close to the apartment.

Raymond Hewlett at the campsite in Morocco in July 2007
“He said he knew the layout of the place, the flat and the restaurant where the McCanns and their friends had been eating when Maddie disappeared. 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.”

Yesterday it emerged that Portuguese police did speak to Hewlett about Madeleine’s disappearance – but ruled him out as a suspect.

Peter also revealed that pothead Hewlett made wild and unfounded claims that the McCanns – both doctors, from Rothley, Leics – were involved in their daughter’s disappearance.

Verran took this photo of Hewlett relaxing
“One of Hewlett’s theories was that there had been an accident and Kate and Gerry had killed her and were trying to cover it up,” said Peter.

“He even made the crazy suggestion that her mum and dad had sold her to gipsies. 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.”

Peter, who is partially disabled, met his Moroccan wife Nisrine, 25, when he was holidaying in Agadir.

They married in May 2007 and when they encountered Hewlett at the remote campsite, they were enjoying an extended honeymoon touring the country in a camper van.

“We’d been there a week or so when Hewlett and his family just rolled in in a big blue Dodge truck,” said Peter, who has two children from a previous marriage. “I didn’t see him for a few days. I just saw his wife and kids. She’d checked them in to the campsite and seemed to be handling all the paperwork. In Morocco, you have to have the right papers to stay anywhere. Looking back, it seems Hewlett was reluctant to be seen by anyone in authority.”

Raymond Hewlett
After a few days, Peter began bumping into Hewlett and they started to chat. “He told me he had been in Southern Ireland once but had to leave in a hurry,” said Peter. “He explained that he and his wife were travellers and they moved around a lot. He said he spent his days sitting around smoking dope while his six kids played.

“The kids were a bit weird. They were very withdrawn and couldn’t speak properly. They never went to school and spent all day playing in the mud.

“Hewlett told me he was ill and suffered with pains in his chest. One day he said, ‘I think I’ve got cancer’. I told him to go back to England to get checked out and to sort the kids out with a proper home. He said he didn’t want people poking their noses into his business.’’

Peter told how he and Nisrine would eat meals with Hewlett’s family – and Hewlett would often talk about Madeleine. “He went on and on about the McCanns and kept telling me all his theories about what he thought had happened,” said Peter. “Looking back, maybe it was a way of making sure we didn’t think he had anything to do with it.”

Peter, who spent six years in the Army before working with people with learning difficulties, recalled how in the three months they were all together he only saw Hewlett leave the camp once or twice. “Most of the time he stayed on the campsite,” he said. “He was never short of money though. He bought diesel, a motorbike and engine parts. I don’t know where he got his money from. He said he’d made cash from car boot sales.”

Then, one day in August 2007, Hewlett announced he and his family were leaving. “He said his wife’s visa had run out and his passport was out of date,” said Peter. “They packed up and left quickly.”

Peter and Nisrine returned to the UK in November 2007 and had occasional texts or phone calls from Hewlett. “He said he was back in Tavira, near Praia Da Luz, doing car boot sales,” Peter said.

“In June last year, he rang to say he had throat cancer. The next I heard they were in Spain. He called to ask for money and I sent him £50. I couldn’t bear the thought of his kids starving. I even offered to pay for him to come back to the UK. I didn’t get a reply and we lost touch.

“Then suddenly this week he was in the newspapers linked to Maddie’s disappearance. I could hardly believe my eyes. It was such a massive shock. It makes my blood run cold. We haven’t been able to sleep much since the news broke. I keep feeling guilty that I should have noticed something and gone to the police. But I just thought he was an odd drifter. I pray he hasn’t had anything to do with it, but now I just don’t know.”

Hewlett arrived in Morocco in this blue truck. He had travelled there from Portugal
Detectives working for the McCanns are now investigating former trawlerman Hewlett. And officers from Leicestershire Police – the McCanns home force and in charge of liaising with Portuguese authorities – have said they want to speak to two British holidaymakers who tracked down Hewlett.

Cindy and Alan Thompson raised the alarm after they realised he and his family had been staying at a camping site an hour from Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished. The couple helped to trace him to the hospital in Germany where he is being treated for throat cancer.

Last night Leicestershire Police were made aware of the Sunday Mirror’s new revelations. Hewlett is also wanted for questioning by West Yorkshire Police over a child sex attack in 1975 and by Greater Manchester Police investigating the 1975 abuse of an eight-year-old girl.

In 1972, he abducted and sexually assaulted a neighbour’s six-year-old daughter. He was sentenced to 18 months and released after a year. In 1978 he attempted to rape a nine-year-old girl and was jailed four years. In 1988 in Mold, Cheshire, he kidnapped and assaulted a 14-year-old girl and was jailed for six years.

He was described by one judge as “extremely dangerous” and once featured on a Crimestoppers list of Most Wanted Paedophiles.



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