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£5000 reward for information on wanted man

Michael Cope Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Greater Manchester Police and Crimestoppers have announced a £5,000 reward for anyone who has information leading to the arrest and conviction of Michael Cope.

He is wanted for the "sustained and vicious" murder of his ex-girlfriend Linzi Ashton in Salford.

Chief Supt Kevin Mulligan said: "£5000 could be a life-changing amount of money so I want people to think long and hard and if you know where Cope is, then coming forward will not only lead to a financial reward but also the reward of helping to give Linzi's family the justice they deserve.

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Police had been seeking Salford suspect 'since April'

The man suspected of murdering Linzi Ashton was already wanted by police on suspicious of raping her, Greater Manchester Police said.

Police said Michael Cope has a "history of violent behaviour" Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Ashton accused Michael Cope of rape in April and Superintendent Kevin Mulligan said police had been seeking to arrest him since then.

Mother-of-two Ashton, 25, was found dead at her Salford home on Saturday.

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Murder suspect had been reported for serious sexual assault

A man wanted by police in connection with the murder of a mum-of-two from Salford had been reported to the police for a serious sexual assault against her.

Linzi Ashton's body was found at her home in Salford on Saturday night. Police have launched a manhunt for her ex-partner Michael Cope.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney, said:

“As previously stated we know that Michael Cope had been in a relationship with Linzi and through that relationship there have been reports to police in respect of allegations made by her.

“This includes a serious sexual offence and an assault that were reported at the end of April and the middle of May respectively.

“I am not going to go into great detail about these offences or our involvement, suffice it to say Michael Cope was wanted in connection with these matters and numerous attempts were made to arrest him.

“Clearly he is now also wanted for murder meaning our involvement in relation to these earlier matters will rightly come under enhanced scrutiny and that is why we have made the referral to the IPCC and why we are also reviewing these matters ourselves.”

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