MADDIE SUSPECT RAYMOND HEWLETT: I'LL TAKE LIE TEST
May 24 2009 Russell Myers
The convicted paedophile has carried out a string of vile attacks on children but denies any link to Maddie's disappearance.
But police face a race against time to establish the truth, as last night doctors were battling to keep Hewlett alive after complications following a cancer op.
The fiend, 64, was said to have suffered massive internal bleeding, with a source adding: "His condition might worsen at any time which could end his life."
As Hewlett lay critical in hospital, his German wife Mariana Schmucker, 33 - mum to their six children - challenged Maddie's parents Gerry and Kate to come to see her.
She said: "I know about my Raymond's past and it is forgotten. He is a changed man. I know he didn't take Maddie.
"He is a very sick man and has said to me he will do anything to prove he is innocent - even take a lie detector test.
"Let the parents of Madeleine come here and ask him face-toface if he had anything to do with their child going missing.
"My husband has nothing to do with little Madeleine. He's an innocent man and he'll prove it not anyone."
Mariana shares a squalid twobedroom flat - overlooking a kindergarten - with Hewlett and their children.
It is just a few miles from where the suspect now lies in University Hospital, in Aachen, Germany.
Again denying any link to Maddie's abduction by her husband, Mariana said: "These are lies all lies. I know my husband more than anyone in this world and I will tell you he has done nothing wrong.
"Those police should be looking for the real man who took that little girl and not Raymond, he's a sick man, a very sick man." Former soldier turned drifter Hewlett had been living near Praia de Luz in Portugal when Maddie vanished from her family's holiday apartment in May 2007.
By the time he was tracked to Aachen, near the Belgian border, this month he was already seriously ill with lung cancer.
But British police still want to interview him about a sexual assault on a child in West York-shire in 1975, and the murder of 11-year-old Lesley Molseed that same year.
Hewlett served 12 months for abducting a 12-year-old girl, knocking her out with paint stripper and raping her in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, in 1972.
In 1978, he was jailed for four years after holding a 14-year-old girl and putting a gun to her head.
Last night, in a new twist, a British couple who first raised suspicions about Hewlett over missing Maddie a year ago claimed police had not taken them seriously until now.
Alan Thompson, 56, and his wife Cindy, 47, from Peterborough, Cambs, had met Hewlett while on holiday in Portugal.
Cindy told The People: "We cannot talk in detail about the police inquiry, but let's just say we are hoping they take this seriously now.
"We are utterly confused about the delay. It's a worry for us and it must be worse for the McCanns.
Alan said: "I only hope it is not too late." The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell, said the family's own investigators also wanted to speak to Hewlett, and to the Thompsons.
He said: "Mr Hewlett has denied any involvement in Madeleine's abduction.
"Our investigators hope he will see sense and co-operate by giving them whatever information needed so they can eliminate him from the investigation.
"It's clear the man is ill and it is clear he has information that our investigators need."