The former partner of the main suspect in the Leah Croucher murder case has said they had major concerns about him.
His ex-girlfriend, who wished to remain anonymous and was underage at the time they dated, said: "I always knew he was a wrong 'un."
The woman dated prime suspect Neil Maxwell when he was in his 20s and she was underage, the Mirror reports.
READ MORE: Leah Croucher murder suspect named as sex offender who died after her disappearance
“Looking back on things, it’s clear he had an unhealthy interest in children,” she said.
“Why else would a bloke in his 20s be hanging around a young schoolgirl?
“He was very controlling and forced me to do things. He groomed me and took advantage of me.
“He was well-known in the area for trying to pin down girls and force himself on them.
“Eventually everyone sussed him out and kept away from him. He was a deeply sinister character. It's horrible that he did this to Leah but, to be honest, I'm not surprised in the slightest.”
Leah Croucher, 19, went missing in February 2019, with convicted rapist Maxwell now named as the prime suspect.
What happened to Leah Croucher? Timeline and last known moments as human remains found
He took his own life just weeks after Croucher’s disappearance and was reportedly wanted for another serious sexual offence.
Human remains were found in a property in Milton Keynes on Monday (October 10) alongside some of Croucher’s possessions.
Maxwell is understood to have been working as a handyman at the property while the owners of the house were not in the country.
In a statement, Det Chief Supt Ian Hunter yesterday (Friday, October 14): "It is unusual to name a suspect, but we have also learned this week that during the time when Leah went missing, and whilst the owner of the property was not in the UK, Maxwell was the only person to have keys to the property.
He added: "Whilst Maxwell has been nominated as a suspect, this does not mean he is guilty of any offence.
"We will keep an open mind, and our detailed investigation will seek to gather sufficient evidence to establish the truth. This may or may not implicate or exonerate Maxwell or any other persons from the investigation.
"Maxwell has previous convictions for sexual offences against females and was wanted in connection with a sexual assault in Newport Pagnell in November 2018.
"The sexual assault was reported to Bedfordshire Police on 29 November 2018 and the case was transferred to Thames Valley Police the same day."
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