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Madeleine McCann prime suspect was found with secret stash of 391 child porn photos and 68 videos

The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was found with hundreds of child porn photographs and videos of young boys and girls.

The Mail on Sunday has established that Christian Brueckner used a Casio Exilim digital camera to store 391 child porn pictures and 68 videos showing the rape and abuse of minors.

It was the same device that he used to take images of himself sexually abusing the five-year-old daughter of an ex-girlfriend.

The camera and its contents became the main evidence against Brueckner, 42, during two trials in which he was accused of sexually abusing the girl and possessing child pornography.

He fled to Portugal after being acquitted in 2016, but admitted his guilt when he was extradited back to Germany a year later. He was given a 15-month jail sentence.

A ten-page judgment from Braunschweig District Court reveals that the photographs showed children under the age of 14 being abused by adults, while others involved children being forced to perform sex acts. 

Police said the videos had been downloaded from the internet and stored on the camera’s memory card.

The judgment adds that there were several naked pictures of another ex-girlfriend of Brueckner’s – not the mother of the five-year-old – and photographs of her having sex with him.

Police also found a Reck P6E blank pistol with ammunition in his flat – illegal to possess without a licence under German law.

According to the document, the abuse of the five-year-old took place on June 16, 2013, in Braunschweig at around the same time that Brueckner came on to the radar of German investigators as a suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine.

It adds he took pictures of the abuse and ‘saved them on his later confiscated camera with the intent to later arouse himself sexually’.

Police received a tip-off about Brueckner following an appeal over Madeleine on German TV six years after she disappeared from her family holiday apartment in the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal in May 2007.

Brueckner was living in the area at the time and police have said that mobile data shows he was near Maddie’s apartment on the evening she was abducted.

The judgment also noted that at the time of his arrest in 2014, Brueckner was on parole for a drugs offence he had committed in Niebull, a German city near the Danish border.

While he was being investigated for child abuse, he was caught trying to steal diesel from a truck in a parking lot in May 2015. 

He was then arrested for drink-driving in September the same year and, two months later, assaulted his then girlfriend at a bus stop in Braunschweig.

After being jailed for the child abuse, Brueckner – now serving a sentence for drugs offences – was convicted of the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz and received a seven-year prison term.

His lawyers have sought to have that conviction overturned due to what they claim was a procedural error in his extradition from Portugal to Germany in 2017.

Last month, police searched an allotment near Hanover where Brueckner lived for a time after returning to Germany, shortly after Maddie disappeared in Portugal.   

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