Missing teen’s brother in ‘opportunistic’ assault

Lancashire Police undated handout photo of Charlene Downes
Lancashire Police undated handout photo of Charlene Downes
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A GRIEF-stricken brother who attacked a man cleared of being behind his sister’s disappearance has walked free from court.

Robert Downes’ victim was one of two men accused of being involved in his sister Charlene’s alleged murder.

Warehouseman Downes, 20, swung a punch at property landlord Mohammed Reveshi outside his Blackpool home.

Downes, of Boothley Road, Blackpool, admitted assault when he appeared before Judge Pamela Baldwin sitting at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

Mr Reveshi suffered a damaged eye and had to receive hospital treatment after he was attacked on February 8.

Ian Dacre, prosecuting, said, when interviewed by police, Downes accepted responsibility for the assault and said he knew his victim from the time the man was arrested in connection with the disappearance of Charlene.

Mr Dacre said: “Mr Reveshi was acquitted of that and Downes said it had’ screwed his head up’.

“He saw this man and his mind went blank and he hit him once.”

Former St George’s High School pupil Charlene disappeared in November 2003. She has never been found.

One man was cleared of her murder, Mr Reveshi was cleared of disposing of her body.

Peter Manning, defending, told the judge: “In 2002 this young man was 11 years old when his elder sister disappeared and has never been seen again since.”

“It is accepted by the police she was murdered. Two people were arrested for her murder including this man

“Two trials were held at crown court and the prosecution eventually collapsed because of faults in the police investigation.

“Since then Robert Downes has lived in the knowledge that something horrible happened to his sister and became a very,very angry young man.

“He has been damaged by what has happened to his family.

“On the night of the assault he came across this man and took one swing at him hardly breaking his stride as he did so.”

Sentencing Downes to a 12-month Supervision Order, during which his anger management will be addressed, the judge told him: “These were an extremely unusual and unfortunate set of circumstances.

“It was an opportunistic attack of one punch which had a lot of anger behind it.”