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Father of murdered Telford teenager Lucy Lowe is told to 'be careful' in a chilling threat sent after he spoke out about his fears his daughter was groomed
The father of a murdered teenager now linked to a child grooming epidemic told of his fears last night after police received a threat to his safety.
Lucy Lowe was 16 and pregnant with her second child when she was murdered alongside her sister Sarah, 17, and their mother Eileen, 49, in a house fire in Telford set by Lucy’s 26-year-old boyfriend, Azhar Ali Mehmood. (right) The taxi driver was later jailed for life after being convicted of three counts of murder – but was never arrested or charged over sex abuse. The couple’s 15-month-old daughter was found wrapped in a blanket under a tree in the back garden – after being moved to safety before the fire was lit.
It can now be revealed that Telford has the third highest number of child sexual offences recorded in the UK, just behind Blackpool and Rotherham, according to the Home Office. Blackpool: home of murdered teenager Charlene Downes. Since 2003 the Casuals, the Pie and Mash Squad, the EDL and other groups protested and agitated for justice for Charlene, and for the law to bring to justice the kebab shop owners who boasted of killing her and disposing of her body via their food preparation equipment. The patriots were vilified as 'racist', the police/CPS bungled the prosecution and the kebab shop owners received public money in compensation. A man was arrested in August last year. My assumption is that he isn't a suspect but did have useful information as CCTV footage of Charlene's last known movements (only recently 'come to light') was shown on BBC Crimewatch in February The authorities have not been allowed to forget about her.
Lucy’s father George said he was fearful of reprisals as he spoke out about his fears his daughter was groomed.
Mr Lowe, 73, told how police received a call from an untraceable pay-as-you-go handset last week warning that the bereaved father needed to ‘be careful’ – as it emerged Lucy and another local potential grooming victim who died in her teens, 13-year-old Rebecca Watson, had displayed classic signs of being abused in the run up to their deaths.
Mr Lowe, who now lives in Wellington, just outside Telford, said: ‘A police officer visited me last week and said they would be implementing security measures at my home as a result of this phone call. They are not discounting the possibility of another arson attack and were talking about installing a fireproof letterbox.’
Mr Lowe and his sister, Edna Jackson, also told how Lucy became ‘unruly’ after getting together with Mehmood, often truanting from her school – where the family were later told taxis would congregate to pick up pupils.
He said he ‘should have been tougher’ and put a stop to his daughter’s relationship with the older man, but said the taxi driver had claimed he was four years younger than his true age. Mrs Jackson, 72, added: ‘Lucy would climb out of windows in order to get out if she was grounded. Back then, I just thought it was her being a teenager but now we all know a lot more about grooming and the effects such abuse can have on the victims. Lucy’s behaviour fits that picture. I can’t bear to think she was being groomed and wasn’t able to ask for help.’
Yesterday Clive Jones, director of children and adult services at Telford and Wrekin Council, said he was not aware of any murders associated with child abuse in Telford and said he did not recognise the figure of 1,000 potential victims. He rejected calls for an independent inquiry, saying: ‘I do not know why it would be necessary.’
West Mercia Police said it was unable to comment on any ‘operational decisions’ that may have been taken by its officers in relation to Mr Lowe.