The former lover of travel rep Ellie Chessell, horrifically injured in an acid attack in Alvor last weekend, has been tracked down in his native island of Madeira but denies all knowledge of the incident.
Cláudio Gouveia has told reporters that he “hasn’t been with Ellie for around three months” and that whoever hired what appears to be being investigated as a minutely calculated hit on the 29-year-old “could have been another ex-boyfriend”.
Talking to the British tabloid press, Gouveia said that he had no idea if Ms Chessell had had another lover since the couple split, but that he thinks it “unlikely”.
The Daily Mail carried an interview with bearded Gouveia featuring photographs that he carries on his Facebook page.
The paper said he described Ms Chessell as “a really nice girl” and that he is praying for her recovery.
The interview has been widely picked up by other news services, all concentrating on Gouveia’s branding of his former girlfriend’s attacker as “an animal”.
Portuguese tabloid Correio da Manhã suggests that PJ investigators are still working on the lines that the attack was motivated by “questions of passion”.
CM adds that Gouveia has been identified by police, but not arrested.
Meantime, the Mail quotes a police source as confident that the investigation will be closed soon.
Ellie Chessell remains in hospital in Lisbon, with as much as 60% burns to her body.
Earlier this week, British papers reported that Hampshire Constabulary was supporting the victim’s family in her hometown of Newport, Isle of Wight.
PHOTO: Alvor Baía Resort Hotel where Ellie Chessell was working as a travel rep