SEX AT­TACKER COULD BE FORCED Lotto rapist was shocked fraud po­lice were still prob­ing fake ticket claim

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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.

Black­mail

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

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