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Anorak | The Truth About Charlene Downes And Blackpool’s Paedophile Gangs

The Truth About Charlene Downes And Blackpool’s Paedophile Gangs

by | 7th, April 2011

CHARLENE Downes was 14 when she was murdered in Blackpool and her body turned into kebabs. So they say. There is no proof of this. There is no proof that the teenager is dead.

There is no proof that Charlene exchanged sex for “food, alcohol, cigarettes and affection”. But the police say she was murdered. And the police say she was groomed for sexual exploitation.

The English Defence League has adopted Downes, and her mother, Karen Downes, is happy they have.

And you might be happy they have, too. The Times leads with the “dark secret” in Blackpool.

More than sixty schoolgirls in a seaside town were being groomed for sex by a group of men who have been linked with the unsolved disappearance and murder of a 14-year-old…

Charlene Downes was not on the news agenda until last Saturday when on the EDL march in Blackburn, her mother arrived.

For the EDL, the key element in the missing person story was that that two men tried in court and cleared of Charlene’s murder were immigrants from the Middle East.

Iyad Albattikhi, a Jordanian, and Mohammad Raveshi, originally from Iran, were sent to trial despite a lack of physical evidence. The case rested on recordings made in secret. Lancashire Constabulary was found to have botched the investigation. The result: Mr Raveshi and Mr Albattikhi were freed and each paid just short of £250,000 in compensation.

Now the Times reports:

The endemic scale and nature of the sexual exploitation uncovered by police in Blackpool was kept secret. The victims were young white girls; their abusers were non-white workers at takeaway food outlets in the Lancashire town.

Why was this kept secret? Are the white working classes not allowed to know the truth lest they behave badly? Are the police scared of the truth and dismissive of the victims because of their race and class?

The Times is quick to note:

Most British sex offenders are lone white men…

Well, yes. Is this because most British men are white?

Andrew Norfolk writes:

In a random sample of 269 individual cases in which the internet was used to lure and groom victims, more than 95 per cent of the convicted offenders were white men aged from 18 to 70.

But in Lancashire and Yorkshire, the picture is altered:

…but an examination of court cases involving multiple offenders from 13 towns and cities showed that out of 56 men convicted of offences where girls they met on the street were groomed and sexually exploited, 50 were Muslim, mostly of Pakistani heritage.

The Times then cites the words from an unpublished police report:

“The exploitation . . . included the commercial exchange of money, food, shelter and gifts for the provision of sexual acts. Young people were being groomed and sexually assaulted both inside and outside of premises by a number of takeaway owners and workers.”

(We are introduced to the missing Paige Chivers. She was 15 when she went missing in 2007. There is a £12,000 reward for information on her.)

Says the Times:

Last August, almost seven years after Charlene’s disappearance, a police report warned that young girls were being lured to Mr Albattikhi’s premises to be fed alcohol and drugs before engaging in sexual activity.

Warned who? Warned other police? Warned the local council who in 2010 – “greatly concerned with the evidence relating to young females and allegations made by some of them regarding sexual activity” – revoked the aforesaid venue’s licence to serve hot food between 11pm and 5am?

Were parents warned? Schools? Kebab chop workers? Did the police place an officer by the shops or use undercover officers to record evidence? Why, if poor, white children were in danger, did the police not back up their warnings with action to end the abuse?

It must be said that Mr Albatticki has not been charged with any crime. And he has been attacked at the Funny Boyz takeaway on Dickson Road, now called Mr Beanz.

Back in the Times, we learn:

Lancashire police and Blackpool Council jointly run a project, Awaken, which was set up after Charlene’s disappearance and investigates all forms of child sexual exploitation in the town.

And the town needs help:

“…according to the annual Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements report, East Lancashire has the highest number of registered sexual offenders in the county.”

And:

Blackpool is home to about 800 sex offenders, proportionately more than anywhere else in the country, according to local police. Det Insp Tony Baxter says they come to prey on children and runaways – who often flee to Blackpool – knowing they can hide in cheap B&Bs, find cash-in-hand work and melt into the crowds during busy periods.

We learn:

Blackpool has the highest level of alcohol-related mortality in England, levels of domestic violence at twice the national average and the highest proportion of heroin and crack addicts in northwest England.

The Times goes on:

Last night, the police issued new figures showing that 50 of the 54 suspects identified by Awaken during the past six months were white…

So. The EDL getting involved in the case helps bring missing Charlene Downes to the news cycle, but it is a highly selective campaign. Demonising all Asians and Muslims is more akin to a blood libel than a campaign to end all abuse.

Inside the paper, and Andrew Norfolk has an emotive piece on life in Blackpool. He paints a picture that will either arouses feeling of revulsion, pity or – God help you – sexual desire:

Lined by empty crates and rotting food from giant waste bins, the alleyway is spared midnight invisibility by the pale glow from its solitary lamppost and small parcels of light that escape the gaping back doors of some takeaway food outlets.

On a cold evening last month, a car was parked at its far end. From the driver’s seat a man’s arm reached out to caress the face of a child in the front passenger seat. Realising that they were not alone, the pair fled inside one of the restaurants.

Again we ask: if the police are issuing warnings about predatory sexual deviants preying on children, why is it still going on?

Having introduced us to a scene in “Paki Alley”, Norfolk then tells us a bit about Charlene Downes:

In Blackpool, reports were logged “of violent incidents in the home, lack of adequate supervision … and some incidents … very suggestive of a risk … of sexual exploitation”.

Charlene could have been helped, the review suggested, but a plan “to commence care proceedings should there be a continued lack of improvement to the quality and effectiveness of [her] parenting was lost sight of”.

Frontline care staff, who displayed “a sense of helplessness and inability to act decisively”, also “lacked sufficient awareness of the risk … particularly in the area of exposure to sexual exploitation”.

Did the authorities let down Charlene Downes?

We then hear a source telling us about life in Paki Alley. One man gets a particular mention:

“He had no respect for us, the way we dressed, the way we drank, how forward we were. It was as though white girls were asking for it. He’d say that all English girls were slags, unlike Muslim women who wore the hijab and walked five steps behind their husband.”

Unlike Muslim women who keep quiet and don’t tell the police? Unless Muslim girls who are assaulted in the home and kept quiet?  But one man is not all Muslim men.

Paedophiles have no respect for life. Rapists have no respect for women. The girls are not raped just because they are white – they are raped because they are young, poor, naïve, neglected and available. Should we guess what turns on the Asian rapist? Well, if we must, it could be said that sex with something ethnically different adds to the rapist’s pleasure.

But what we need to know is why the police suppress their reports? And what happened to Charlene Downes and Paige Chivers?



Posted: 7th, April 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (22) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink