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Christian Brueckner 'lost it' when group discussed Madeleine McCann case

Convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner ‘lost it’ when staff at a kiosk he ran in northern Germany began discussing the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Brueckner ran the small store selling drinks and snacks in the northern German town of Braunschweig between 2012 and 2014.

Lenta Johlitz, 34, worked for him at the corner shop and, recalling the exchange, she told German newspaper Bild: ‘Once he totally lost it when we sat together with friends and had a conversation about the Maddie case. He wanted us to stop talking about it. He shouted, “The child is dead now and that’s it”.’

 Convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner ‘lost it’ when staff at a kiosk he ran in northern Germany began discussing the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (pictured)

Her story emerged as a former caretaker described how Brueckner would shower youngsters with toys and teddy bears as they walked to a school barely 100 yards from the kiosk.

Peter Erdmann, 64, who worked at the Grundschule Hohsteig, a primary school for around 300 children, said: ‘The kids would come to school holding ponies and teddy bears. I used to ask them where they got them from, and they used to tell me, “Christian at the kiosk gave it to us”.

‘He used to give the kids the presents when they walked past the kiosk in the morning.’

Lenta Johlitz, 34, worked for him at the corner shop and, recalling the exchange, she told German newspaper Bild: ‘Once he (Christian Brueckner pictured) totally lost it when we sat together with friends and had a conversation about the Maddie case

Mr Erdmann, who worked at the school between 1999 and 2016, added: ‘At the time, I did not think anything of it. I used to go and see Christian in the kiosk, and he always came across as friendly.

‘I even asked him if he gave gifts to the kids, and he told me he had a little box full in the kiosk.

‘It turns my stomach now to think of his intentions and I wish I had raised what was going on with my bosses at the time.’

Mr Erdmann said he now wants to talk to the police, adding: ‘I regret not being more suspicious at the time.’

A former girlfriend of Brueckner has claimed that he would regularly abuse and strangle her.

The claim was recalled by Norbert M – a man who met Brueckner in 2012 and moved into his flat adjoining the kiosk. ‘She was around 17, and blonde. She was a very small woman, puny.

‘She told me Brueckner hit her and strangled her. She told me that herself. I saw strangle marks on her neck.’

Norbert, who asked not to be named in full, said Brueckner would allow children as young as nine to work for him on the shop till. He also claimed that Brueckner allowed his two dogs to die by leaving them inside the kiosk for six weeks while he went on holiday to Portugal.

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