Agony of mother whose daughter 'was murdered and turned into kebab meat' after she was targeted by stalker who became obsessed with case
- Karen Downes is the mother of Charlene Downes, who disappeared in 2003
- Mark Bailey started talking to her online about her daughter's case then decided to move from New Zealand to Blackpool to meet her
- But after she refused to leave her family for him he attacked her in street
By HUGO GYE
PUBLISHED: 15:19, 26 December 2013 | UPDATED: 17:42, 26 December 2013
The mother of a teenage girl who was apparently murdered and turned into kebab meat was stalked by a man who became obsessed with her daughter's killing.
Mark Bailey travelled from New Zealand to meet Karen Downes after he began chatting to her on a website dedicated to the disappearance of her 14-year-old daughter Charlene.
However, when he asked her to abandon her family to be with him she refused, and he ended up assaulting her in the street, a court has heard.
Horror: Karen Downes, left, the mother of murdered teenager Charlene, right, has been stalked by a man who was obsessed with her
Charlene Downes went missing in 2003, allegedly after having been abused by dozens of men in her home town of Blackpool, Lancashire.
Police believe that she was murdered and her body was disposed of in a mincing machine at a takeaway shop, but no one has ever been convicted of her killing.
Bailey, 27, discovered the tragic story on a website run by Mrs Downes, 48, and over a period of 12 months he repeatedly contacted the bereaved mother online.
When he saved enough to travel to Britain from his native New Zealand in May this year, he met Mrs Downes in person and became besotted with her.
He asked her to leave her husband Robert and her children and move in with him earlier this month, but she refused and ended their relationship.
Police warned Bailey not to harass Mrs Downes, but he approached her in the street and pulled her hair.
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'I became terrified of him,' she said. 'He wanted to see me but when he got me trapped in an alleyway I became frightened and started to scream.
'I thought he could have a knife. All I could think of was my Charlene and what happened to her. I had to escape.'
Case: Charlene's disappearance was linked to this kebab shop in Blackpool, whose owners were put on trial for her murder although the case against them collapsed
Bailey, a restaurant worker who has lived in a variety of guesthouses in Blackpool, was handed a £75 fine and six-month restraining order after pleading guilty to assault at Blackpool Magistrates' Court.
The court heard that the defendant had had a seven-month relationship with Mrs Downes, but she denied that it had a sexual element.
'He had shown an interest in my website - the Charlene case - and it snowballed from there,' she said after the court hearing.
'When he told me he was coming over here I thought it would not happen. I was surprised when he arrived - he wanted me to leave my family and control me, but that was never going to happen.'
Gary McAnulty, defending, said that Bailey believed that he and Mrs Downes were in a serious romantic relationship, and had moved from New Zealand for her sake.
'It was slightly bizarre because Mrs Downes is married and lives with her husband,' the lawyer said. 'After being warned by police, he arranged to meet her to discuss matters and said he loved her.
'I have had to explain to him she wants nothing more to do with him. It is a sad end.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2529487/Mother-girl-murdered-turned-kebab-meat-stalked-man-travelled-New-Zealand-meet-obsessed-case.html#ixzz2odLeXpu5
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A shocking case and if the police believe this is what happened to her, (despite the body never being found) I'm very surprised this case does not appear to be more well known.
With relevance to the McCann case
1) a child going missing
2) potential sex offender / pedo connection
3) A body never being found
It is interesting that the police bugged the suspects. I do wonder if this is standard operating proceedure? Im which case were the Mccann's phones tapped? or were they aware that their phones might be tapped, hence the pay as you go ones that were acquired. (+ also the silence as to whether their phones were hacked by journalists)
This case did go to court though.... (despite no body).
I wonder if the result of the trial explains the softy softy catchy monkey approach of Scotland Yard at the moment.
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