A former girlfriend of Christian Brueckner, the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, has spoken for the first time of her nightmare ordeal living with the child sex predator.
The 35-year-old woman – the first ex-partner to give details of the German paedophile’s warped personality – said she lived in fear of his release from prison after serving a sentence for sexually assaulting her five-year-old daughter.
She had been in a relationship with Brueckner, 43, for nine months, living for a time with her daughter in his apartment beside the kiosk he worked at in Braunschweig, a city in northern Germany.
Brueckner assaulted the girl – who had blonde hair like Madeleine – in a public park before taking graphic photographs of her which he saved on a memory card.
A former girlfriend of Christian Brueckner, 43, (above) said she lived in fear of his release from prison after he served a sentence for sexually assaulting her five-year-old daughter
‘I am scared because it was this trial that put him in jail. I don’t want him to come out of jail,’ said the woman, noting that Brueckner received only a 15-month prison sentence for the crime.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claimed that Brueckner repeatedly assaulted her daughter and would also launch violent attacks against her, adding: ‘He hit me when he was drunk or in a foul mood. He was very aggressive.’
She described how she reported Brueckner to police for the abuse of her daughter and provided a written statement to help prosecutors.
‘I believe he abused my daughter on three occasions, but the police only charged him for the one occasion because they had photos of the abuse,’ she said.
She fears Brueckner may have abused other youngsters in the area because a number of parents were in the habit of entrusting him with their children. ‘I am sure he abused other children. Some parents used to leave their kids with him, especially those parents on welfare,’ she said.
Brueckner was first investigated by police for sexually abusing the five-year-old girl in 2014.
When police raided his flat, they found a Casio Exilim digital camera with 391 vile images and 68 videos of abuse. On the same camera, detectives found about five photographs of Brueckner abusing the five-year-old girl in a Braunschweig park.
Police identified the location and established that the pictures had been taken in 2013.
The 35-year-old woman claimed Brueckner, who is the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, repeatedly assaulted her daughter and launched violent attacks against her
It was around this time that Brueckner came to the attention of German investigators looking into the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine from a holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.
Police had received a tip-off about the long-term criminal and paedophile after a nationwide appeal about Madeleine was broadcast on the German equivalent of Crimewatch.
In June, German police announced Brueckner was officially a suspect. Forensic analysis of mobile phone data showed he was near Madeleine’s Algarve apartment on the night she disappeared.
Brueckner was first tried at a lower court in Braunschweig for sexually abusing the five-year-old, but was acquitted in 2016 and fled to Portugal. He was extradited back to Germany a year later to stand trial again, where he confessed to abusing the girl and owning the camera. He is currently serving his sentence in Kiel prison near Hamburg.
While in prison, Brueckner was also found guilty of raping a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz in 2005.
His lawyers, who deny he had any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance, are seeking to use a procedural error to overturn his seven-year sentence for the rape.
Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher said last week that his client was ‘innocent’ of any involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine.