Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

More Chilling Details from Book on Madeleine McCann Investigation

This extract from a compelling new book about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann analyses the chilling history of sexual assaults on British children in the region

Within days of Madeleine’s disappearance, Gerry and Kate McCann were poring, hour after hour, over photographs of known offenders. They included local men and British citizens – either residents of Portugal or individuals known to have visited the country in the days and weeks leading up to May 3, 2007.
Kate and Gerry McCann with artists conception of Madeleine at 9 years old
Kate McCann was not impressed when later she studied files of the Portuguese police’s conduct of the investigation. They were replete, she said, with reports of the crimes of Portuguese and British paedophiles and those of other nationalities. To her, however, the police seemed to have done little more than catalogue the criminals’ existence, and not enough to establish whether they had anything to do with the Madeleine case.

A number of men, at one point considered possible suspects, have been named publicly. Three months after Madeleine’s disappearance, a five-year-old blonde girl, Ylenia Lenhard, vanished in Switzerland after visiting a swimming pool. Her decomposing body was found the following month.

Nearby was the corpse of a 67-year-old man, Urs Hans von Aesch, an apparent suicide. Forensic evidence would establish that Ylenia had been in his white Renault van. The precise circumstances remain unclear, but everything indicates he was responsible for the child’s death. Von Aesch had long been resident in Spain, near to where Madeleine vanished on the Algarve, and was living there at the time. A man in a white van, moreover, had been seen parked near the McCanns’ holiday apartment at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz.

Scotland Yard detectives would travel to Switzerland in 2012 to confer with their counterparts there. The elements that made von Aesch seem suspicious, however, appear not to add up. The white van in Praia da Luz had not been the make the suspect owned; von Aesch was much older than any of the men potentially linked to the case by testimony, and there is no known evidence that he had, in fact, been in the Algarve in May 2007.

The Swiss police could “neither make any connection of von Aesch to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann nor exclude a connection with absolute certainty,” the police chief who ran the original investigation, Bruno Fehr, told us.
One promising lead, which later would interest the McCanns’ private detectives, concerned an Englishman, Raymond Hewlett. A former soldier and sometime fairground worker, he had repeatedly been jailed for sexual assault and attempted rape of minors in Britain in the Seventies and Eighties. A judge at one of Hewlett’s trials had described him as “most dangerous”. In May 2007, he had been living with his wife and a brood of children – their home was a large blue van – at a campsite 70 miles from Praia da Luz.

The suggestion that Hewlett might have abducted Madeleine became public in May 2009, when a couple who had met him in Portugal – but not at the time known about his past – reported that he had chattered about “gypsies” having offered him money for one of his own daughters. Another couple, who encountered him in Morocco, said he had talked about the McCann case a lot, saying he knew Praia da Luz and the Ocean Club and had often parked his van near Apartment 5A, where the McCanns stayed in May 2007.
Ocean Club Resort
Hewlett – by then seriously ill with throat cancer – was tracked down to a hospital in Germany. Approached by the McCanns’ private detectives, he demanded “thousands of pounds” in payment for interviews. The McCanns declined, but the dying man did make some statements. He reportedly told police that he had been to Praia da Luz and twice seen Madeleine before she died – at such close quarters that he remembered the coloboma, the distinctive mark in her right eye.

Subsequently, however, in an interview with a newspaper, Hewlett came up with a quite different story. He insisted that he “didn’t kill the McCann girl… I’d take a lie-detector test… 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 life. Yes, I’ve been to Praia da Luz, but not since 2002.” He claimed he had been in Vila Real de Santo António, on the Spanish border, when Madeleine vanished.

British officers working on the current Metropolitan Police investigation [Operation Grange, set up in 2011] took an interest in the Hewlett matter in 2012, but his name has not come up publicly since. Though Hewlett was a convicted child molester, there is no substantive evidence that he had anything to do with the Madeleine case.
Maddy and Ugly Man seen by a few people
David Reid, from Northern Ireland, who had been jailed for three years for the indecent assault of his four daughters, had subsequently moved to Portugal. A guitarist, he had worked for years entertaining customers in bars around the tourist town of Carvoeiro, in the Algarve. Depending on the route, it is either 23 or 28 miles from Praia da Luz. Despite Reid’s previous popularity locally, a newspaper exposé of his past crimes – the year before Madeleine vanished – had seen him ostracised and beaten up. He lost his job as a singer.

He died in his early sixties in Portugal in 2013. If, as it appears, Reid was still in Carvoeiro in May 2007 when Madeleine vanished, that fact deserved investigation – whatever his claims to have been a changed man.

Carvoeiro has been of special interest to investigators for years – and still was, as this book went to press, to detectives running the current Metropolitan Police investigation. As early as 2009, working from police records released to the McCanns and other material, their private detectives had identified four villages and towns – all within 40 miles of Praia da Luz – where, in the period before Madeleine’s disappearance, intruders had assaulted, tried to assault and in one case tried to abduct, young girls.
Five of six attacks had targeted British children. The victims had all been girls, most of them nine or 10 years old. One, in Silves, had been only three years old – almost the same age as Madeleine.

One of the incidents in the Carvoeiro area was described to us by a British resident of Portugal, a well-known face on British television who prefers not to be named here. It occurred some three years before Madeleine vanished, and the target was the eight-year-old daughter of an English couple – friends of the resident – who were renting a villa nearby.

The McCanns themselves
were considered suspects
for a while
“The parents had been asleep in their room with the door closed, and their two children were in their beds in another room. From what the children told their parents, it seemed the man had come in and got into bed with their younger daughter. He hadn’t actually done anything to her. The girl said, 'Is that you, Daddy?’ And he said, 'Yes’. She knew it wasn’t her daddy, perhaps because he talked differently or was the wrong size or something. They’d got some other people staying in the villa, so she asked, 'Is that you, Uncle?’ and again he said, 'Yes’. But that was it.

“The older girl woke up at that point and saw what was happening. The man got up and walked out of the room into the kitchen. The older girl told her sister something like, 'Keep quiet. Just keep quiet.’ But then, when the man had gone, the kids woke their parents.”

Years later, after a study by the Metropolitan Police of the various attacks, Operation Grange chief Andy Redwood would update the information on potentially relevant incidents before and after Madeleine’s disappearance. There had, in fact, been 18 break-ins that involved children, he said, in properties where British families stayed between 2004 and 2010: five in Carvoeiro, nine at locations near either Carvoeiro or Albufeira, one in the village of Vilamoura and three in Praia da Luz itself.

In one chilling incident in 2006 in Praia da Luz, at the Ocean Club, children in a ground-floor apartment (like the McCanns’) had seen a man break in through a patio door. He had taken nothing, but merely stood staring into a child’s travel cot. The previous year in Praia da Luz, a 10-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted. In all, nine children in the wider area had been sexually assaulted. There had been three “near misses” – where the offender was in close proximity to the potential victim – and six other occasions in which an intruder had been interrupted before he could carry out an attack.
Man seen carrying a child was eventually identified and cleared
We learnt from a British source of what could have been one of the “near misses” and it may give real significance to the reports of “orphanage” soliciting. Between April 20, 2007, and the day Madeleine disappeared, one man – and on occasion two men – came to the doors of British residents and tourists claiming to be collecting for an orphanage. There was no such orphanage in the location they described. Perhaps, then, it was just a scam to con foreigners into unloading a little cash. It is also reasonable to speculate, though, that the men were casing the premises with intent to commit a crime.

One account given to us, however, suggests there was a sexual motive behind these visits. A British citizen long resident in the Algarve has described a frightening episode when a man claiming to represent an orphanage came to the door of her friend, also English. “There was a knock at the door,” she recalled, “and the man standing there said he was collecting for some orphanage. What made her very uncomfortable was that, all the time he was stood there, he wasn’t looking at her but past her – at her three-year-old daughter.”

A couple of hours later, when the British woman went to pick up an older child from school, she spotted him again. “He was still there, waiting at the end of the road,” her friend told us. “Her sense of unease increased. And the following day, she left her three-year-old daughter downstairs for a minute or two while she went upstairs. Then, when she was coming back down the stairs, she caught a glimpse of a man – really only his legs – in the living room with her child. He left rapidly as she came down the stairs, obviously.

“My friend thought it was the same man who had come to the door the previous day collecting for an orphanage. She thought he had got in through the patio doors and believed – even then – that he had meant to take her daughter.”

This was very shortly before Madeleine disappeared. The family’s rented villa was, moreover, in Praia da Luz, where six other “orphanage” incidents were reported – one of them, the week before Madeleine went missing, at the Ocean Club’s Apartment 5A.

Compelling testimony, indicating that someone was watching that apartment comes from a British girl, Tasmin Sillence. As a 12-year-old who lived nearby, she had reason to notice what went on in the vicinity of the flat. It had once belonged to her grandmother and she had lived there for a time.

She told police that she had twice seen a man near 5A. He had seemed to be hanging around, watching the place. The first time, on April 30, the third day of the McCanns’ ill-fated trip, he had been leaning against the wall in the lane, on the pool side of the apartment block, “staring intently at the balcony” of 5A. On the eve of Madeleine’s disappearance, Tasmin saw him standing in front of the Ocean Club entrance that led to the Tapas restaurant. Hands in pockets, he was again gazing in the direction of Apartment 5A.

A second witness, a British tourist staying in an apartment close to the McCanns’, also saw a man in more or less the same spot who appeared to be watching 5A.
There was one further account of a suspicious sighting, and it occurred only hours before Madeleine went missing. It comes from Carole Tranmer, a woman who at that time had been sitting on a balcony directly above 5A. “I saw someone,” Tranmer would remember, “come out of the ground-floor apartment, closing the gate very carefully and quietly. It looked very strange to me. He looked to one side and the other, shut the gate and walked very quickly.”

What had struck her as so peculiar was the way the man had closed the gate, as though he was “ensuring it did not make a noise… he closed it with both his hands, several times… It was his furtiveness that got my attention.”

In April 2014, Operation Grange’s Chief Inspector Redwood made public a description of the intruder involved in actual or attempted sex assaults on girls in their beds. “The offender, we know,” he revealed, “is described as being a male, with dark hair, who has got dark brown tanned skin. He often speaks to the victims in a foreign accent, in English, with his voice being rather slow or possibly slurred.’’

The man was unshaven, with unkempt hair. Some witnesses had described him as having a pot belly, and three of the children said he had “a noticeable odour”. He had on occasion been bare-chested. On two occasions, though, the man had worn a distinctive long-sleeved burgundy-coloured top. One former police detective has suggested it might have been a promotional T-shirt for Super Bock, a brand of beer. The shirts were of a type some bars in Portugal give free to regular customers. Just possibly, checks could trace at least some of the people who received the shirt in the relevant area of the Algarve.
Two sketches of same suspect
It is DNA or fingerprint evidence, of course, that could identify the child molester and perhaps lead to a breakthrough in the Madeleine case. Many if not all of the child sex assault cases described here were handled only by the GNR – the Guarda Nacional Republicana – and never passed to the Polícia Judiciária, the detection arm of the Portuguese police force.

Relevant material, Redwood thought, might be lying forgotten “in police exhibit stores somewhere in the Algarve”. If such evidence does exist, could be retrieved and if it led to identification of an individual, the investigation might yet take a great leap forward.

It is fair to say that if Gerry and Kate McCann had known of the history of sexual assaults on tourists’ children in Praia da Luz and the surrounding area, they would never have left their patio door unlocked to make dinner-time checks easier. Indeed, had they known about the sex assaults in advance of the holiday, they might not have travelled to the Algarve at all.

'Looking For Madeleine' by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan (Headline, £18.99) is available to order from Telegraph Books at £16.99 + £1.95 p&p. Call 0844 871 1514 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk  
© Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan 2014