A 14-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl was murdered by a fast food shop owner who joked that she had been "chopped up" and had gone into the kebabs, a court heard.

Charlene Downes was killed by former Blackburn man Iyad Albattikhi, 29, owner of Funny Boyz fast food shop, in Blackpool, who, it is alleged, had sex with the youngster he described as "kinky", Preston Crown Court was told.

Charlene was one of a number of young white girls who went to have sex with older men who worked in the fast food shops, Tim Holroyde QC, prosecuting, told the jury.

Charlene, of Buchanan Street, in Blackpool, was "well and happy", the court heard, but her home life was "chaotic".

Expelled from school, she spent her time hanging around shops on Blackpool Promenade, and was last seen in the early evening of Saturday, November 1 2003.

After kissing her mother goodbye she went off on her own - and "vanished off the face of the earth", Mr Holroyde said.

A missing person inquiry began, but police later launched a murder investigation after information "leaked out" that the girl had been "killed and chopped up", the court heard.

No trace of Charlene's body has ever been found.

Mr Holroyde told the jury a witness heard Albattikhi and others talking about Charlene.

"These people were talking about sex with white girls, and there was mention of having sex with Charlene. Albattikhi laughed and said she was kinky and she was very small - the plainest possible indication that he was lying to the police when he said he did not know her. He and others present were then laughingly saying that Charlene had gone into the kebabs."

Albattikhi, a Jordanian immigrant, is charged with murder, and his co-accused, his business partner and landlord Mohammed Reveshi, 50, originally from Iran, is accused of helping to dispose of the body.Both deny the charges and told police they never knew Charlene.

Albattikhi and Reveshi were joint owners of the fast food shop in Dickson Road in the town, the court heard, which the younger man ran on a daily basis.

Charlene became a "familiar figure" hanging around the shops where she would sometimes get free food.

"In addition," said Mr Holroyde, "she was one of a number of adolescent white girls who sometimes went at night to the alleyway behind the restaurants.

She and others went there to meet much older men from the restaurants, and it seems perfectly clear that there was at times some sexual activity."

An earlier court hearing was told Albattikhi lived in Blackburn for some time during 2003.