attack probe  | 

Madeline McCann suspect agrees to examination by police investigating rape of Irish woman

Christian Brückner is the chief suspect for the attack and is currently serving a jail sentence for the rape of a pensioner.
Christian Brückner is suspected in the disappearance and murder of Madeleine McCann

Christian Brückner is suspected in the disappearance and murder of Madeleine McCann

Robin Schiller

The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeline McCann has agreed to a police examination relating to the rape of an Irish woman.

German national Christian Brückner (45), a convicted sex offender, is also under investigation for the attack on Hazel Behan in Portugal in 2004.

The sexual assault happened while Ms Behan was working as a holiday representative in the Algarve two weeks before her 21st birthday.

Brückner is the chief suspect for the attack and is currently serving a jail sentence for the rape of a pensioner.

Reports state that his lawyers have now said that he will agree to a police examination after investigators handed over their file relating to the attack on Hazel Behan.

It reportedly includes a statement she gave to police saying her assailant had a large cross-shaped scar on his right thigh.

The suspect's lawyer, Friedrich Fülscher, has said that prosecutors will have to clear his client if this scar is not on his leg.

Mr Fülscher told German publication Bild: “Should it be true that Mr Brückner does not have this feature, he would have to be ruled out as the perpetrator".

Ms Behan had awoken to a find man standing in her room with a machete before being subjected to a lengthy attack.

Investigators have been continuing their inquiries into the attack and are examining the methods used by the German sex offender, including similarities with other assaults.

Hazel Behan

Hazel Behan

Brückner, who can only be identified by German officials as Christian B due to the country’s strict privacy laws, is currently serving a seven-year jail term for the rape of a US woman (72) in 2005.

He spent large amounts of time in the Algarve between 1995 to 2007 where he was a drifter with a string of previous convictions for sex offences and child abuse.

In June 2020 he was named as a chief suspect in the disappearance and suspected murder of Madeline McCann, who was last seen on May 3, 2007.

A month later the investigation into the rape of Hazel Behan was reopened after she came forward saying she believed Christian Brückner was her attacker.

At the time she told police the man involved was about 6ft 1in tall (1.85m), had “blond eyebrows, piercing blue eyes” and spoke English with a German accent.

Ms Behan, who is originally from Dublin but now lives in Westmeath, said she also noted similarities between her attack and the rape of the American woman.

She previously said she was ‘mind blown’ when details of his attack on the 72-year-old emerged, saying there were similar tactics and methods in both crimes.

Recalling her attack previously, she said she was awoken to someone calling her name and saw a man armed with a 12in machete standing in the room.

In 2019 Ms Behan was selected as Sinn Féin’s candidate for the Kinnegad area in the local elections and is also an advocate for people who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse.


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