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Grandfather dies on 70th birthday after being attacked during van robbery

Mr Ray would have celebrated his 70th birthday today. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A murder investigation has been launched after a man was killed during an assault as his van was being stolen.

The victim was named by police as James Ray, 69, a father of two and grandfather of four from York.

It happened on the Plantation Industrial Estate in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, just after midday yesterday.

The scene in Tameside this afternoon. Credit: Manchester Evening News.

Emergency services were called to a report of a serious assault and found Mr Ray with serious head injuries.

He was taken to Hope Hospital where he died in the early hours of today - his 70th birthday.

Greater Manchester Police say the offenders left the scene in a car and also drove away in the victim's white transit van.

Map shows the location of the Plantation Industrial Estate in Ashton.

“We have made two arrests but the investigation is continuing and we are still seeking information.

"We believe there is at least one other person outstanding and I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the van and Fiesta being driven erratically to contact police.

"I would also appeal to anyone who knows who owns the Fiesta or who has been using it in recent days and weeks to call us.

– Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick, Greater Manchester

A 23-year-old man and a 44-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in custody for questioning.

  • Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Police tweet response to latest bizarre complaint

A man called Greater Manchester Police to complain that a prostitute had not given him enough time.

The angry customer rang officers to say he had paid for 30 minutes but she had only provided 10 minutes.

The unusual objection was made to police in north Manchester who posted this tweet.

It was the latest in a series of bizarre complaints to police across Greater Manchester.

In July, a woman rang 999 when staff at a gym wouldn’t let her in – despite the fact she didn’t have a valid pass.

And in June, a Salford pensioner alerted officers that his wife was "driving him round the bend".

Cameras follow police as they tackle forced marriage

Greater Manchester Police are calling for more victims of forced marriage to come forward.

It comes ahead of a documentary tomorrow evening, which follows officers over an 18 month period, as new laws were introduced making it illegal to coerce a person into marriage.

Across Greater Manchester officers have had to deal with more than 200 cases involving honour-based abuse reported to them by young women.

They say the number of male victims remains unknown. Ralph Blunsom reports

Appeal after cash stolen in Rochdale robbery

An image of the suspects released by Greater Manchester Police. Credit: Greater Manchester Police.

Three people broke into a home in Rochdale and stole money.

It happened sometime between 1.30pm and 8pm on Wednesday, July 29.

Police said an Audi car pulled up at the junction of Broad Lane and three men broke into the home and searched a number of rooms before finding money and stealing it.

It is believed the three men got back into the car and drove off.

“The investigation has been ongoing and we have now managed to obtain a CCTV still of three men we are keen to trace and speak to.

"I would ask people to take a good look at the picture and if they recognise the men, to phone police.”

– Detective Constable Lucy Hartley, Greater Manchester Police
  • Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 4619 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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