Madeleine McCann suspect nicknamed ‘The Climber’ for resort breaking-in skills

The prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case was allegedly nicknamed "The Climber" because he was so good at breaking into holiday apartments.

Christian Brueckner, 43, is a convicted paedophile with a string of offences to his name. He's also a suspect in the disappearance of the four-year-old British girl from a Portugal resort in 2007.

A former partner-in-crime has come forward to shed new light on Brueckner's past criminal life.

Manfred Seyferth, 64, believes Brueckner is guilty of abducting Madeleine, calling him an "evil psychopath" who would be "capable of taking a small child".

The drifter has also revealed a chilling detail that seemingly adds another link between Brueckner and Madeleine.

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"We called him 'The Climber' because of his skills," he told The Sun.

"He was an expert at getting into apartments and hotel rooms.

"Christian was athletic and he was strong. I saw him many times climb up to first and second-floor apartments and break in.

"He would take watches, passports, money and anything electronic that he could sell. He was a great burglar."

Madeleine vanished from her bed in a ground-floor apartment at the holiday resort in Praia da Luz where she and her family were staying on May 3, 2007.

Seyforth, who lived in a caravan next to Brueckner's house at the time, claims he knew he was robbing holidaymakers in that very same resort that year.

He says he found a gun in Brueckner's apartment, but had thrown it into a nearby reservoir in a panic.

Seyferth added: "Christian is a bad, bad man. He is evil.

"I never liked him and he is a psychopath. He is obsessed with small children and I didn't like it.

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  • "He always had a young girlfriend with him and I think he is easily capable of taking a small child."

    Brueckner is currently in jail serving a 21-month sentence for drug offences.

    Last December he was convicted of raping a 72-year-old woman in her own home in Praia da Luz in 2005.

    Seyferth and pal Helge Busching were the key witnesses after they found a horrifying video in Brueckner's apartment that showed him torturing and sexually assaulting the victim.

    Brueckner is currently appealing the rape conviction at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and a verdict is expected next week.

    "When I saw him in court, he made me shiver. He has a cold hard face and evil eyes," Seyferth said.

    "I'm glad he's now in prison. It's the best place for him. He should stay there for a long time."

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