SEX ATTACKER COULD BE FORCED Lotto rapist was shocked fraud police were still probing fake ticket claim
We have also discovered that Putman – jailed in 1991 for the violent rape of a 17-year-old girl – believed officers had dropped their probe.
But he was “shocked” to discover the investigation was ongoing and officers had refused to give up on the probe.
If criminal charges are activated and Putman is convicted he could be made to repay the seven-figure fortune under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
A source close to t he investigation said: “For months, even years, police have been frustrated by a lack of evidence and limited information.
“But they haven’t given up and they have kept plugging away in the background. They’re nearing the point where they can produce a file for the CPS.
“This is a significant milestone. Putman had his solicitor contact detectives because he thought the whole thing was over.
“He couldn’t believe his ears when he was told they were still investigating. It was pure shock.
“People in the investigation have been told that someone who works at the Lottery had finally come forward.
“They’re the first person who has been willing to give evidence that the ticket may be fake.
“It’s a massive development because for a long time police have been starved of evidence. If he’s convicted he could be forced to hand back the cash.”
Fraud expert Mr Knibbs, 38, is said to have given vital information to convicted sex attacker Putman for his 2009 win.
After he was secretly recorded implicating himself in the alleged scam, Mr Knibbs took his life amid claims he was blackmailing Putman for £900,000.
Nobody has ever been prosecuted despite a Gambling Commission report finding it was “more likely than not” Putman’s winning ticket was fake.
Its report contained 195 pages which were blacked out in part or entirely, with another 79 pages removed before its release.
Now police have finalised signed statements from a number of key witnesses. Among those believed to have been contacted in recent weeks is Putman’s old school pal Stephen Warner.
The builder, 51, was quizzed after it was reported that Putman waved a “winning” ticket in front of neighbours five months before bagging the jackpot.
Last night a Knibbs family insider said they would “never give up hope that justice would be done”. The source said: “They have been through so much but they will not be satisfied until they see justice.”
Putman, of Kings Langley, Herts, is said to have met Giles in 2003 when he did building work for the IT expert’s parents. The pair planned to be property developers and began working on deals, with Giles bankrolling the purchase of a house.
But Knibbs committed suicide as police probed claims he was in a plot to blackmail Putman for £400,000 then another £500,000 and vandalise his BMW.
It is claimed he left 14 deathbed letters detailing the alleged scam – and he was apparently so scared he rigged his £500,000 home with CCTV.
Just under six months after showing off the ticket and admitting the wind-up, Putman