Madeleine McCann suspect could be CLEARED of the rape of Irish woman

Main suspect in Madeleine McCann case could be CLEARED of the rape of an Irish woman three years before Maddie’s disappearance due to DNA mismatch

  • Madeleine McCann suspect could be cleared of rape of Irish woman in 2004 
  • DNA found at the scene does not match that of Brueckner, a source said 
  • The 37-year-old was attacked in Praia da Rocha, just three years before Maddie was snatched 

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner could be cleared of the rape of an Irish woman after it emerged his DNA did not match that found at the scene.  

Police have been investigating Brueckner as a suspect in the rape of Irish tour rep Hazal Behan in 2004. 

The 37-year-old was attacked in Praia da Rocha, just three years before Maddie was snatched.

Irish woman Hazel Behan, 37, (pictured), waived her right to anonymity to share details of the attack which saw a masked man climb over the balcony to her apartment in the early hours of the morning


Christian Brueckner (pictured left) left Portugal after Madeline McCann (pictured right) disappeared on May 3 2007 

Ms Behan was raped in apartment in Praia da Rocha, Portugal, in 2004 (building exterior pictured)

In a blow to investigators, traces of DNA found at the scene of the crime do not match that of Brueckner, a source has revealed. 

Someone familiar with the case told The Sun: ‘There is no evidence at the moment that links B to this rape.

‘Officers have looked hard but at the moment there is nothing concrete we can use.

‘It was decided the case should be looked at because of the similarities with the American woman but at the moment we cannot pin it on him at all.’

Brueckner, who is the main suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, was convicted of a similar rape a year after Ms Behan was attacked. 

Ms Behan, who waived her right to anonymity in June, was working as a holiday rep, aged 20, in Praia da Rocha on the Algarve coast in April 2004.

Three months ago, Mrs Behan demanded police reopen her case after discovering it had striking similarities with the rape of an American woman for which Brueckner was convicted last year. 

Ms Behan was attacked in the resort town of Praia da Rocha, which is around 20 miles away from Praia da Luz – where Madeleine was abducted in 2007

Christian Brueckner (pictured with a friend in 2011) was convicted of a similar rape of an American woman a year after Ms Behan was attacked

Earlier this month, German authorities agreed to open an investigation into the incident. 

She recently revealed details of the attack which saw a masked man climb over the balcony to her apartment in the early hours of the morning.

He is said to have held a knife to her throat, tied and gagged her before raping her repeatedly.

The assailant then threatened to kill her before fleeing over the balcony and leaving her bleeding. 

Ms Behan contacted Scotland Yard after Brueckner was named as the main suspect in the Madeleine case with details emerging about his conviction for raping an American woman in similar circumstances.  

She told the Guardian at the time: ‘My mind was blown when I read how he had attacked a woman in 2005, both the tactics and the methods he used, the tools he had with him, how well he had planned it out.

‘I puked, to be honest with you, as reading about it took me right back to my experience.’

In June, Brueckner was identified the German man as a suspect in the case of Madeleine McCann (pictured), who disappeared from an apartment in 2007 while her family was on holiday in the resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal 

Mother-of-two Ms Behan said at the time that the Met Police had told her they were taking her case very seriously and would be contacting Portuguese counterparts after taking a statement. 

Ms Behan has previously said that she was treated badly by the Portuguese detectives as they abandoned their investigation after eight months without identifying a suspect.   

In June, Brueckner was identified the German man as a suspect in the case of Madeleine, who disappeared from an apartment in 2007 while her family was on holiday in the resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal.     

He has two previous convictions for ‘sexual contact with girls’, authorities say, but they do not have enough evidence to hold him in prison on the strength of the McCann case alone. 

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