Blackpool man jailed for sexually abusing teenage girl

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A Blackpool man has been jailed for more than two years after sexually abusing a teenage girl.

Andrew Sellen, 37, admitted 9 offences of indecent assault and gross indecency when he appeared at Preston Crown Court in November last year.

Andrew Sellen

Andrew Sellen

He was sentenced to a total of 29 months today and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

All the offences were committed between 2002 and 2004 in Blackpool when the victim was 13 and 14 years of age. Sellen was 19 at the time.

Sellen was arrested and charged after returning from France last August after police applied for a European Arrest Warrant.

He was arrested by the team of detectives investigating the disappearance of Charlene Downes in Blackpool in 2003 and her subsequent murder. There is no suggestion that these cases are directly connected.

Charlene was just 14 years old when she was last seen in Blackpool on Saturday, November 1, 2003.

Despite a £100,000 reward on offer for information leading to the conviction of her killer or killers, or the recovery of her body, nobody has ever been brought to justice.

Detective Inspector Andy Bunn, of Operation Boron, said: “I would like to commend the victim in this case for putting her faith in the judicial system and for having the courage to come forward and be prepared to give evidence against Sellen.

“We will continue to focus on the wider issue of child sexual exploitation in Blackpool and I would encourage anyone who experienced abuse to come forward and speak to us.

"We will listen to victims and support them as well as bring offenders to justice.”

More information on Charlene and her disappearance can be found here: www.lancashire.police.uk/campaigns/charlene-downes/