Suspect linked to missing school girl 'doesn’t care' if she’s alive (2022)

A kebab shop owner charged with disposing of Charlene Downes' body has sensationally claimed he doesn'tcare 'whether she's alive or dead' in his first ever on-camera interview.

Iranian Mohammed Reveshi was one of two men suspected of being involved with the 14-year-old schoolgirl's disappearance from Blackpool in November 2003.

Police believe that Charlene was murdered and cut up before being served as kebab meat after being lured into a gang and groomed for sex.

Although suspects Reveshi andIyad Albattikhi stood trial at Preston Crown Court, the jury failed to reach a verdict and a retrial wasdropped due to lack of evidence.

When asked if he knew anything about Charlene's disappearance on the shocking show, Reveshi replied: 'I don't have any clue about what you're talking about.

'I don't care whether she's alive or dead. I couldn't give a toss to be honest.'

Mohammed Reveshi, pictured, was one of the two takeaway shop owners suspected of being involved with the disappearance of Charlene Downes, 13, from Blackpool

Police believe that Charlene, pictured, was murdered and cut up before being served as kebab meat after being lured into a gang and groomed for sex

In one of the scenes, Reveshi, who owned several takeaway shops in the area, is seen looking through boxes of information he has kept about the case.

During a sit-down interview he said: 'Everyone in Blackpool thinks I am connected.

'Asfar as I'm concerned I've never come across her, I do not know her, I would not recognise her and I've never seen her in my life.'

Although professing his innocence throughout, police officers who worked on the case saidReveshi was a 'dangerous' man.

Detective Don Fraser, who also happened to be a neighbour of the takeaway shop owner, said: 'You have to believe coincidence after coincidence to give Reveshi credibility.

Police were given information that Reveshi was involved by a local businessman called David Cassidy, who was told Charlene had been killed and then put in six bin bags. Reveshi is pictured in his own VHS on the day police raided his home in 2005

'I think he's a dangerous man, extremely clever, manipulative and extremely wealthy now.'

The documentary revealed thatReveshi lived next door but one to Detective Fraser and they got on 'pretty well' until a 'major problem' caused the police officer 'alarm'.

Detective Fraser recalled: 'He had two nine-year-old girls in the back bedroom on the ground floor of his house and they watched soft porn.

'He admitted this to a police officer and said it was an accident, that the girls put it on while he was in the loo.

Reveshi, pictured in the documentary, said he didn't have 'any clue' when asked about Charlene and added that he 'didn't care if she was alive or dead'

The takeaway shop owner, pictured, is seen looking through boxes of information about Charlene's case during the documentary

'Reveshi told me it was a mistake and I didn't believe him - I was appalled. Shortly after he applied to become foster parent.'

When asked about why he tried to become a foster parent, Reveshi said he wanted to be 'helpful' and slammed others who suspected that he must have been 'sleeping' with the teenagers he fostered.

He said: 'I didn't even sit next to them. If they were on a sofa, I was on another chair.'

Home videos shown in the first episode of the documentary show teenage girls in Reveshi's garden talking about their 'beautiful legs' and saying 'I love you Rez'.

Reveshi also showed the cameras his old house where 'police think Charlene was sexually abused, murdered and dismembered'.

When police searched his home at the time they found blood, but he claimed it belonged to his foster son's girlfriend.

Police officerDon Fraser, pictured, called Reveshi a 'dangerous man'. They were neighbours - but Fraser was alarmed after Reveshi was found to have watched 'soft porn' with children

Detective Sergeant Jan Beasant listened to recordings ofIyad Albattikhi and Mohammed Reveshi. They were later suggested to be 'wholly false'by John Bromley Davenport QC

There had also been modifications to the house, including new floorboards and skirting boards.

The police came to suspect Reveshi andAlbattikhi after local businessman David Cassidy said he'd been told they were involved.

Cassidy said: 'I'd heard rumours of Reveshi and girls getting in his van and not being seen until the next day.

'I'd also been told he had been seen with three young girls in his bed, one was 12 at the time, and one was Charlene Downes. She had apparently had enough and was going to go to the police.

'Apparently that's what triggered something in their heads. Charlene ended up inAlbattikhi's room and Reveshi helped dispose of the body. He said he's seen six black bags and he knew the girl was in them.'

Detective Sergeant Jan Beasant, pictured, reviewed forensic photographs taken at Reveshi's house at the time. Police said the house had undergone recent repairs when they searched it

Reveshi, pictured,stood trial at Preston Crown Court but the jury failed to reach a verdict and a retrial was dropped due to lack of evidence

Based on Cassidy's tip, police started covert surveillance and installed recording devices in Reveshi's car and home.

Over four weeks, police recorded52 tapes worth of Reveshi and Albattikhi talking.

Police officer Jan Beasant listened to the tapes and made basic transcripts and said the first few 'shocked her'.

The tapes appeared to show the two suspects talking about a 'burial place' and land with bones on it as well as them telling each other 'not to worry'.

However as the episode ends, it was suggested by John Bromley Davenport QC that the tapes were 'wholly false' and 'made to fit the case'.

The worried 999 call made by Charlene's mother Karen is also included in the hard-hitting documentary.

Karen and Bob Downes appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show to speak about how the disappearance of their daughter 15 years ago still haunts them and has torn their family apart

The 999 call made by mother Karen, pictured, is heard at the beginning of the documentary

Looking back on her daughter's disappearance, heartbroken Karen said: 'Charlene was my baby girl. She'd be 29 years old now, but I see 14-year-olds and think it's her.

'I've often shouted "Charlene" and the girls turn around and it's not her. I miss everything about her; I just want her back.'

Charlene's mother and father appeared on ITV's The Jeremy Kyle Show in November last year and spoke of their anguish at not knowing what happened to their daughter.

Karen said: 'It ripped me apart, part of me died with her, I will never be the same again.'

Speaking on the daytime show, Karen said that the ordeal had torn them all apart - even more so when officers searching the family home for clues inadvertently exposed Charlene's father as a cross-dresser after finding ladies clothing and counselling material.

Charlene's mother Karen, pictured, said she still sees 14-year-old girls and thinks they are her daughter even though she would be 29 now

The police investigation into Charlene Downes' murder

Charlene Downes, 14, had been a victim of child sex gangs in Blackpool, many of them centred on takeaway restaurants.

Police believe she was sexually abused by as many as 100 men in the run-up to her death.

In 2007 two business partners were tried for murdering Charlene and disposing of her body using a mincing machine, before putting it into kebabs.

However, a jury failed to reach a verdict and the case collapsed. Iyad Albattikhi and Mohammed Reveshi later received six-figure compensation sums for false imprisonment.

In 2013, to mark the tenth anniversary of Charlene's disappearance, police announced they had appointed a dedicated full-time senior investigating officer to the case.

In 2016 a cold case team revisited the investigation and discovered CCTV footage of Charlene walking with her sister Rebecca on the day she vanished.

It was finally released on the 13th anniversary of her disappearance in November 2016 and again for a fresh appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch Live Roadshow.

Last year, a 51-year-old man was arrested after being first quizzed by police in the year she went missing. Over the years, police have made five arrests on suspicion of Charlene's murder but all have been freed without charge.

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'We're not the same anymore. I chose to stand by him,' she told Kyle. 'I didn't know what to believe. I've never heard anything like that. I couldn't leave him.'

Asked by the host if she still loved her husband, Karen said: 'Not anymore, no. But we live together.'

Friends of Charlene's also feature in the first episode of the documentary and reveal that the teenager changed when she turned 14.

Close pal Martin said: 'She was really caring until she was 12 or 13, then her eyes changed. It was like she was gone, just trying to make it all go away.'

He also revealed how he had often seen the teenager go into kebab shops which backed ontoBlackpool's 'P**i Alley' and come back with alcohol.

Martin recalled: 'She'd go in for 20 minutes or so and come back with cigarettes, alcohol or money for the arcades. I didn't think anything of it at the time.

'Charlene was my soulmate, if she was around now we'd be married with kids. When alcohol and fagsstarted being given, I asked her to come with me. She said no, so I went home and I never saw her again.'

Charlene's friend Martin Gorton, pictured in the alley behind the takeaway restaurants, said he often saw the teenagergo into the shops and 'come back with cigarettes, alcohol or money'

Tyne Yates, 29, from Blackpool says she was just 12 years old when, still wearing her school uniform, she was sold for £250 to a middle-aged man in Blackpool's notorious 'P**i Alley' while her drug addict mother looked on

Another friend, Tash, also revealed how they would often hang around the kebab shops and said she too was groomed.

'Iwas groomed but I wasn't groomed to the point where i was taken advantage of,' she explained.

'I'd get my burger and give them a kiss on cheek - wind them up a bit then f**k off.

'It use to happen a lot. It's shocking to you but not to me or others who went through it, it was the norm - we didn't know any different.'

Tyne Yates, 29, who was just 12 years old when, still wearing her school uniform, she was sold for £250 to a middle-aged man in 'P**i Alley' while her drug addict mother looked on, also features on the show.

The Murder of Charlene Downes airs on Channel 5 at 9pm on Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 May.

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