A Blackpool man has been convicted of historical sex offences.
Kashif Gul, 39, of Foxhall Road, Blackpool was found guilty of two offences of indecency with a child following a trial at Preston Crown Court.
The offences were committed in Blackpool in April/May 2003 and May/June 2003 when the female victim was 14 at the time.
Gul was acquitted of three rapes and two attempted rapes.
He was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and will be sentenced in January.
Gul was charged in June following his arrest by the team of detectives investigating the disappearance and murder of Blackpool teenager Charlene Downes, although there is no direct link between the two cases.
Detective Inspector Andy Bunn, from the Operation Boron team in Blackpool, said: “This verdict today shows that we can achieve justice for victims no matter how historical the abuse and I would appeal to anyone who may have been a victim of abuse to come forward and contact us. If you have been a victim we are here to help and support you as well as to bring offenders to justice.
“As part of our inquiries we are focussing both on the disappearance and murder of Charlene but also on the wider issue of child sexual exploitation in Blackpool at around the time of Charlene’s disappearance and we have identified a number of people who could potentially be victims and offenders and we will be seeking to make more arrests and to prosecute abusers in the near future.”
Charlene was just 14 years old when she was last seen in Blackpool on Saturday November 1st 2003.
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.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers.org they can email: firstname.lastname@example.org