Maddie suspect protests innocence

Relatives of a former Norfolk car salesman who is the only official suspect in the Madeleine McCann kidnap inquiry yesterday said new DNA evidence would prove his innocence.

Relatives of a former Norfolk car salesman who is the only official suspect in the Madeleine McCann kidnap inquiry yesterday said new DNA evidence would prove his innocence.

They said that Robert Murat, 33, is suffering a “living hell” and been driven to the “brink of suicide” after being linked to the snatching of the four-year-old from an apartment in Portugal 53 days ago.

As detectives followed up about 20 reports of possible sightings of Maddie on Malta, Murat's aunt, Sally Everleigh, said he was “worried sick” how his daughter Sofia would be affected by all the publicity surrounding him

Sofia lives with her mother - Murat's ex-wife Dawn - in Hockering, near Dereham, and the little girl is the same age as Maddie and has a striking resemblance to her.

Mrs Everleigh told a national newspaper: “Robert is completely innocent but his life has been ruined by the most disgusting and cruel allegations imaginable.

“His only crime was wanting to do anything he could to help find a missing four-year-old girl.

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“As a father himself, he knew Kate and Gerry McCann must have been going through hell.

“But, suddenly he was accused of taking Madeleine himself - and branded a paedophile, a pervert and God knows what else.”

Mrs Everleigh told the paper that no child porn was found on computers seized by police from the home he shares with his mother Jenny, 71, and he had offered to take a lie detector test.

She said: “He is worried sick how all of this will affect Sofia as she grows up - is she going to get bullied because her dad is 'that Maddie man'?

Mrs Everleigh said: “Hearing some of the accusations was such a shock that he actually passed out.

“We have had to call a doctor out twice because he has fainted.”

Portuguese law bans Murat him from talking publicly about his ordeal.

Dawn Murat has previously insisted “she had no doubt at all” of her ex-husband's innocence.

In an interview last month she said: “He isn't the person to do this. He is the most helpful and genuine person I have ever met. He isn't capable of hurting anybody. I feel he has been made a scapegoat.”

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