Man must leave mum alone

Karen Downes
Karen Downes
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A pianist who fell in long-distance love with a woman whose daughter is believed to have been murdered has been ordered by a judge to leave her alone.

New Zealander Mark Bailey first met Karen Downes on an internet site she set up for her missing daughter, Charlene.

Charlene vanished from her home town of Blackpool 10 years ago, aged 14.

Despite Lancashire Police’s biggest ever missing person’s inquiry she has never been found.

Police charged a man with her murder but he was later acquitted.

Detectives recently renewed their appeals for information on the 10-year anniversary of Charlene’s disappearance earlier this year.

Blackpool Magistrates Court heard Bailey saved up the fare and travelled halfway around the world to come to Blackpool, but he got 
upset when 48-year-old Mrs Downes, who is married with a family, refused to move in with him.

Bailey, 27, of no fixed address, who said he lived in various guesthouses in Blackpool, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mrs Downes.

He was sentenced to six months supervision and put on a six months restraining order which bans him from any direct or indirect contact with Mrs Downes or from entering George Street.

Bailey was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £60 victims’ surcharge by District Judge Roger Lowe sitting at the magistrates’ court.