Lancashire

Blackpool man 'faked death over child sex claims'

A man who was facing child sex allegations faked his own death by leaving a suicide note near a Lancashire beach, a court heard.

Leslie Andrews, 54, wanted people to believe he had drowned in the sea at Blackpool, after he left a note in his parked car and disappeared.

He went missing days after police contacted him in May 2002 over claims he had sexually abused a young girl.

He denied 14 counts of indecent assault at Preston Crown Court.

Mr Andrews, formerly of St Heliers Drive, Blackpool, was not traced until 2010 when he was arrested in Yorkshire, jurors were told.

'Mounting debts'

Paul Cummings, prosecuting, said: "He left a suicide note in the car and it was his intention to give the impression to the police and everyone else that he had drowned in the sea.

"Family members did not think he had committed suicide because he had previously spoken of faking his own death because of debt problems.

"The prosecution say he faked his own suicide and he was not seen by those who knew him for eight years."

Mr Cummings said Mr Andrews had denied anything of a sexual nature had taken place with the girl.

He told the court Mr Andrews had claimed he had left Blackpool because he had mounting debts and he "wanted to start a new life".

The trial continues.

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