New suspect in Madeleine McCann disappearance is convicted British paedophile

A CONVICTED paedophile is being investigated in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Brit Raymond Hewlett was staying an hour’s drive from Praia da Luz in Portugal when the three-year-old went missing there in May 2007.

Hewlett, 64, has been jailed several times for sexual offences against young girls.

He is also wanted by some UK police forces for questioning about sex attacks going back nearly 30 years.

He also bears a strong resemblance to an artist’s impression of a man seen acting suspiciously near the McCanns’ holiday flat.

Hewlett is currently being treated for cancer in a hospital in Germany.

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, said investigators working for the couple were looking into allegations made against Hewlett.

He added: “Mr Hewlett is an individual of interest to the Madeleine investigation but I would stress it is just one line of inquiry.

“Beyond that I can’t really go into any further operational detail.”

He said Kate and Gerry, from Rothley in Leicestershire, were “fully aware” of the development.

And he revealed that the couple’s investigators had been in Portugal for the last week.

Last night, a source close to the investigation confirmed that Hewlett was wanted for questioning by police forces in Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Leicestershire and the Republic of Ireland.

The alarm was raised about Hewlett by a couple who met him on holiday in Portugal.

Alan and Cindy Thompson said Hewlett was living with his wife and six children in a Dodge truck, travelling from campsite to campsite.

Alan added: “Hewlett befriended us but kept quiet about his terrible past. We were mortified and disgusted to discover the truth.”

The Thompsons described a conversation when Hewlett said he was approached by some “gypsy tourists” offering to buy his daughter just before Madeleine went missing.

Cindy said: “We didn’t think too much of this at the time.

“Ray and his family led a desperate hand-to-mouth lifestyle and someone may have thought he’d be tempted to sell one of his six children.”

They also recalled him mentioning a business trip to Morocco – where there were several alleged sightings of Madeleine in the months after her disappearance.

Hewlett told them it was a good trip and he made a profit. The Thompsons contacted Hewlett this week.

When they asked about Morocco, he said: “Yes, so? That makes me guilty then?”

Chillingly, he added: “Everything ‘s worth something in Morocco.”

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