UK UK - Charlene Downes, 14, Blackpool England, Nov 2003

ISarahlouise

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Karen claims to have seen Charlene and Becky around 1830 hours. At about 1845 Charlene phoned her friends from a phone box ( now removed) in Leopold Grove. Becky went home to either revise for an exam despite being expelled from school or have her evening meal despite having been to McDonald. She had been living with a man in his late 40s since she was 14 with parental consent! This man was also having a relationship with Karen and Charlene at the same time.
Karen claims that the bus arrived at the Winter Gardens bus stop around 1900 hours and Charlene walked up to the stop to meet her friends. They walked towards the seafront. Lancashire police have Charlene walking towards Caunce Street in the opposite direction!
I was a bus driver at the time and buses were diverted via Cookson Street after 1700 hours due to heavy illumination traffic . It's impossible to see Cookson Street bus stop from the Church Street junction with Leopold Grove Karen was. This is one version of Karen's last sight of Charlene.
In another version she claims the man she was having an affair with walked her and Charlene home to 109 Buchanan Street between 2130 & 2145 hours!

I wasn't aware that the man was having a relationship with Karen as well
 
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So I know David Cassidy's evidence was dismissed as he was deemed an unreliable witness, whatever. And there's sparse evidence otherwise to connect Charlene and IA. Well, I'm just wondering what you all make of the evidence of Kirsty Fletcher as reported by Tim Holyroyde QC for the prosecution? It never seems to get a mention and wasn't discussed on the Channel 5 documentary.

From The Times, Kebab man 'cut up missing girl', May 25, 2007:
Mr Holroyde said that a witness, Kirsty Fletcher, who worked at another fast food restaurant, went to see her employer about her wages and heard a group of men, including Mr Albattikhi, talking about sex with white girls and mentioning Charlene.

"Kirsty says Albattikhi laughed and said she was kinky and she was very small - the plainest possible indication that he was lying to police when he said he did not know her.

"And, says Kirsty Fletcher, he and the others present were then laughingly saying that Charlene had gone into the kebabs."
 

Earth

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So I know David Cassidy's evidence was dismissed as he was deemed an unreliable witness, whatever. And there's sparse evidence otherwise to connect Charlene and IA. Well, I'm just wondering what you all make of the evidence of Kirsty Fletcher as reported by Tim Holyroyde QC for the prosecution? It never seems to get a mention and wasn't discussed on the Channel 5 documentary.

From The Times, Kebab man 'cut up missing girl', May 25, 2007:
I remember reading that article. I was eleven years old and it scared the life out of me.

Charlene just seems to have been let down by everyone. That's what predators look for.
 

Blonderabbit

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The news article missacorah linked to does NOT say the men were Muslim. The BNP website said that, and it was probably only an assumption. I think the men probably were Muslim, but (a) no one seems to know that for sure and (b) their religion has got nothing to do with Charlene's death.

There are plenty of other articles on Charlene's murder -- I googled her name and found some on the BBC, etc., and I don't see why missacorah had to post this particular one, seeing as how it is prejudiced and offensive. Either he/she agrees with it, or didn't actually read the statement beforehand and was therefore careless.

Charlene's murder was a terrible crime in and of itself and throwing in the race/religion card only cheapens this tragedy.

I think it's kind of amusing that the BNP, a white supremacist organization, is prejudiced towards Muslims. Many if not most Muslims come from the Middle East or North Africa, and inhabitants of those regions are generally considered Caucasian, though they're darker-skinned than Caucasians of European descent.
Muslims unless they have seen them attending a mosque - it’s likely an assumption which fits the BNPs narrative based on skin colour and ethnicity.
 

Pricklykitty

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I really hope some true justice is on the way for Charlene, as I think whatever happened to her she was badly let down by the very people who should have protected her - imo of course.
It's great to see how hard Ronay has worked, and now her case being taken on by an expert, but its also sad it has taken a stranger to fight for her like this.
 

imstilla.grandma

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Charlene Downes

Schoolgirl Charlene went missing almost 19 years ago and is presumed dead but no body has ever been found and no-one held accountable. By her early teens, she had endured a troubled background and become the victim of abuse before being lured into carrying out sex acts for food in Blackpool back alleys.

Then aged just 14, she was last seen in November 2003 and her disappearance attracted nationwide attention as the search took detectives to Oldham, Denton, and further afield to Wolverhampton - anywhere Charlene had connection. A botched police investigation saw two men charged in association with her murder only be for the trial to collapse amid concerns over evidence.

The case uncovered a scandal of child sexual exploitation in the seaside town and its legacy continues to hang over Blackpool. A £100,000 reward remains on offer for information leading to the conviction of Charlene’s killer but those continuing to fight for answers largely do so in a bid for justice for a 14-year-old girl who never came home.

Hopes have now been raised for fresh answers thanks to the involvement of Jen Jarvie, a private inspector and policing lecturer at York St. John. Jen, who was recently named Investigator of the Year by the Association of British Investigators (ABI). has agreed to re-examine Charlene’s case after being impressed with the amount of hard evidence made available by members of the public interested in the case.
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