1. ITV Report

Direct appeal to witnesses after death of off-duty PC

PC Gareth Francis Photo: Greater Manchester Police

Officers are making a direct appeal to potential witnesses who may have vital information about the death of off-duty officer PC Gareth Francis.

Detectives have now issued CCTV images of a parked car just a couple of metres away from where the fatal blow was struck.

Police were called to a report of an assault near to the Sir Robert Peel pub on Castle Street in Edgeley, on January 20th 2013.

Emergency services attended the scene within minutes and discovered 28-year-old Gareth with a serious head injury.

Paramedics gave him treatment at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Stepping Hill Hospital. He sadly died a short time later.

A post mortem examination concluded Gareth died from a head injury following a single punch.

The silver Ford Mondeo that was parked on Castle Street at the time of the incident. Credit: Police

Officers have now released images of a silver Ford Mondeo that was parked on Castle Street at the time of the incident.

A male passenger was inside the nearby Sir Robert Peel pub at the time, but the woman driver was sitting in the car, which was parked just two or three metres from where the incident happened.

Officers have not yet spoken to her and believe she could hold vital information.

“I must stress that all of the people in the images are innocent and we only want to speak to them as we know they were nearby when this tragic incident occurred.

“We are not interested in anyone’s reasons for not coming forward so far - we simply want to find out what, if anything, they might know about Gareth’s death.”

– Detective Inspector Richard Eales, of the Major Incident Team

Anyone with information can contact either the Major Incident Team on 0161 856 9283, Greater Manchester Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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