BREAKING HIS SILENCE: Hewlett says he
didn't kill Maddie
Raymond Hewlett broke his silence over
missing Madeleine McCann yesterday, claiming: “I’ve never seen her in
The 64-year-old Briton, who was living in Portugal’s Algarve when the
youngster disappeared, had previously refused to talk about the case.
But Hewlett, a former soldier who has served jail terms for sexually
assaulting young girls, vowed to prove his innocence.
“I’d take a lie-detector test. I’ll take any test you like,” he said.
“The only time I’ve seen
Madeleine McCann is on missing posters.
And I saw her on TV in a bar once. But I’ve never seen her in real
Detectives working for Madeleine’s parents
Gerry McCann yesterday said they were keen to interview
Hewlett. They wanted to clear up suggestions that he had seen Madeleine
twice before she vanished, at the age of three, in May 2007.
McCann family spokesman
Clarence Mitchell urged Hewlett to
clarify what he knows about the mystery as soon as possible. “This makes
it even more imperative that Mr Hewlett gives any credible information
that he may have about Madeleine to the investigators as a matter of
priority,” he said.
“We hope that he and his representatives will see sense and facilitate
this interview in the near future.”
one of two retired UK policemen working for the family, added: “I have
been attempting to speak with Raymond Hewlett to eliminate him from our
investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. He is not a
suspect but I was keen to interview him because of his failing health.”
At the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, Hewlett was living an hour
from Praia da Luz, where the McCanns were on holiday.
Hewlett has lived in Blackpool and Telford, Shropshire, but moved to a
truck on a campsite with his wife and six children. Since then, he has
surfaced in Aachen, Germany, where he was treated for throat cancer and
where the McCanns’ detectives tried in vain to speak to him.
His record includes a sex attack on a young girl in 1978 where he put a
gun to his victim’s back. West Yorkshire Police are also investigating
his possible involvement with an indecent assault in 1975.
Hewlett resembles a pock-marked suspect seen near the McCann holiday
apartment and has refused to give an alibi for the night of the
He said: “It’s obvious why they’re interested in me. But they can all
think what they like. I didn’t kill the McCann girl. It’s the truth and
it’s never going to change.
“There is a person who can say where I was that day, but why should I
bring them into this? I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Hewlett, who has been in hiding and now lives in a squalid German flat,
can hardly speak and claims he has only weeks to live. After leaving
Portugal, he went to Morocco where he is said to have told tourist Peter
Verran he was obsessed with the McCann case.
Mr Verran, a former Scots Guard, alleges Hewlett told him he had parked
his truck outside the family’s holiday flat many times. But Hewlett
responded at the weekend: “My life’s been made a misery for something I
know nothing about and a crime I’ve not committed.”
He said Portuguese police visited him and his
twice about the case and he gave them a DNA swab and fingerprints –
though he was never arrested or quizzed. “They checked that all the
children living with us were ours. Our youngest girl looks a bit like
her. But they saw everything was OK and they left.
“The police came again in August last year and told Mariana it was about
the McCann girl.
“They asked for me and Mariana told them I was in hospital. They came to
see me and asked permission to take DNA and fingerprints. I was very
sick and barely able to speak to speak to them.”