by Robert Mendick
A convicted paedophile under investigation over Madeleine McCann's disappearance faces a deathbed extradition to the UK for a series of sex attacks.
Raymond Hewlett, 64, being treated for throat cancer at a hospital in Germany, was named today as a suspect in her abduction after it emerged he was living in a motor home an hour's drive from where she vanished.
Hewlett is wanted for questioning by Manchester police over the abduction and sexual abuse of an eight-year-old girl in the city in 1975. West Yorkshire Police also would like to quiz him over a series of “serious offences”.
The Standard understands the two forces as well as Leicestershire Police, which is coordinating the Madeleine investigation, held a conference call yesterday to discuss the next action.
It is thought Portuguese police are also investigating Hewlett's movements in the Algarve at the time three-year-old Madeleine vanished on 3 May, 2007.
Investigators working for her parents Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, are due to fly back to the UK after several days spent in Portugal chasing “five or six” new leads.
Investigators will want to know why Hewlett checked out of a hospital in Faro in the Algarve where he was being treated for cancer only to re-emerge in Germany.
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell told the Standard today: “Hewlett is somebody we have been looking at for a little while. But he is just one line of inquiry.”
Hewlett was not on a list of known paedophiles in the Algarve compiled by British and Portuguese police at the time Madeleine vanished from an apartment in Praia da Luz.
His presence in Portugal came to light when a couple who befriended him became suspicious of his past. Alan and Cindy Thompson met Hewlett around December 2006.
He was living in a travellers' camp in Tavira, about 70 miles from Praia da Luz, with his wife Monica and their six children.
source: This Is London, 22.05.2009