UPDATE: Rape accused appears in court

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A businessman accused of multiple offences of rape has made his first appearance at court.

Kashif Gul, 39, of Foxhall Road, Blackpool, has been charged with rape, attempted rape, gross indecency with a child and indecency with a child.

The charges are historic and relate to one female victim aged 14 and 15 at the time.

Gul was one of two men arrested yesterday in Blackpool by detectives investigating the disappearance of Charlene Downes in the resort in 2003 and her subsequent murder.

There is no suggestion that these latest arrests are directly connected.

A 50 year old man arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and taking indecent images of a child has been bailed pending further enquiries.

Gul is due to appear before Blackpool Magistrates’ Court today.