A schoolgirl was murdered by a fast food shop owner who joked that she had been "chopped up" and put into kebabs, a court was told yesterday.
Charlene Downes: Missing without a trace
The prosecution alleged at Preston Crown Court that Charlene Downes, 14, was killed by Iyad Albattikhi, 29, owner of a food shop in Blackpool, who had sex with her.
Charlene was one of a number of young girls who visited an alleyway in the town to have sex with older men who worked in the fast food shops, Tim Holroyde QC, prosecuting, told the jury.
Charlene, from Blackpool, was "well and happy", the court heard, but had a "chaotic" home life. Expelled from school, she spent her time hanging around shops on the Blackpool Promenade. She was last seen on the evening of Saturday Nov 1 2003. After kissing her mother goodbye she left alone - and vanished, Mr Holroyde said.
A missing persons inquiry began but police later launched a murder investigation after receiving information that Charlene had been "killed and chopped up", the court heard.
No trace of Charlene's body has ever been found.