BNP leader takes on Charlene case

Karen Downes and British National Party Chairman Nick Griffin in Stanley Park

Karen Downes and British National Party Chairman Nick Griffin in Stanley Park

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A CONTROVERSIAL politician has taken on a mother’s fight for justice for her daughter.

Karen Downes, whose daughter Charlene has been missing since November 2003, met British National Party leader Nick Griffin at a memorial bench in honour of her daughter in Stanley Park.

Mrs Downes, of Boothley Road, North Shore, said: “I know a lot of people don’t agree with their politics but they are fighting for Charlene and that’s all that matters to me.

“He’s a great guy because of what he’s doing for Charlene

“I don’t want to get into the political side of things. I’m grateful for any help whether it’s the BNP or anyone.

“He was asking about what happened to Charlene and the court case. I had to re-live everything, it wasn’t nice.

“The BNP are doing anything they can to help. They say they are going to put more publicity out, put it on their website and put it out to television in Russia.

“They’re going to get it worldwide.

“We need justice for Charlene. I have nobody to grieve for, the best I can do is come down to the memorial bench at Stanley Park to sit and think about her.”

Charlene, a former St George’s High School pupil, who was 14 when she went missing, has not been seen since she kissed her mother goodbye at a bus stop in central Blackpool on November 1 2003.

Her family and friends will gather at her memorial bench on the anniversary of her disappearance along with representatives from the BNP.

Mike Whitby, BNP North West regional organiser, said: “The reason we’ve got involved is because it’s been going on for eight years and no-one seems to be bothered. It’s an outrageous injustice.

“Charlene’s mum is doing her level best to tell the world about what’s going on.

“Why are the police and crown prosecution service not doing anything?”

Two men Iyad Albattikhi and his business partner Mohammed Reveshi – who ran a fast food outlet on Dickson Road – were charged with Charlene’s murder and disposing of the body.

But both were later cleared at Preston Crown Court and awarded a reported compensation sum of £300,000 each for false imprisonment.

The police have confirmed Charlene’s disappearance remains subject of an ongoing murder investigation.