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Former councillor killed himself days after being arrested on suspicion of sex assault

Credit: MEN Syndication

A former Rochdale councillor killed himself days after being arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, an inquest heard.

Jonathan Burns, 33, who represented the North Middleton ward for almost seven years until stepping down last year, was a successful entrepreneur and was described as a ‘great community champion’.

But on January 16 this year, the dad-of-one was arrested over an alleged sexual assault and bailed.

But seven days later,Mr Burn was found hanged in the kitchen of his company premises.

The Manchester Evening News reported that officers who attended Pride Media Association, the company which Mr Burns founded helping people learn IT and media skills, retrieved eight hand-written letters intended for various members of his family and friends, it was said.

Following a hearing at Heywood Coroners Court where he recorded a conclusion of suicide, coroner Simon Nelson said it is sad that young men found it difficult to ‘open up to others’.

E-fit issued after man attacked in Rochdale robbery

EFIT Credit: Greater Manchester Police

An e-fit has been issued after a man was attacked in a robbery in Rochdale.

The victim was asked for the time while walking to work on Crawford Street near to the junction with Trent Street, before he was dragged to the floor and kicked in the head as his mobile phone was stolen.

The victim was taken to hospital where he was treated for a fractured hand, nose and a bleed on his brain.

The attacker ran off along Thames Street and is described as white, of pale complexion, between 5 foot 8 and 5 foot 9 tall, of medium to stocky build and wearing a pale grey tracksuit with the hood up.

Detective Constable Donna Rollinson said:

“Thanks to the help of the victim, we have been able to create an efit of the offender and I would urge people to take a good look at it."

“Did you see the attacker leave the scene or recognise the description? If so, we are keen to hear from you as soon as possible so we can bring the offender to justice.”

– Detective Constable Donna Rollinson

Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 8549 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Seven-year-old walks for the first time after two transplants

A seven-year-old girl from Rochdale's walked her first ever steps unaided, after a life-saving kidney transplant.

Ella Chadwick was born with a rare illness, which damaged her kidneys and meant she could only walk with a frame.

Now she can't stay still, and spends as much time as possible dancing and singing. Ella's grandmother donated her kidney which transformed her life.

Our reporter Adam McClean went to meet an amazing little girl.

Four men charged for child sex offences in Rochdale

Four men have been charged with child sex offences as part of Operation Doublet, an ongoing investigation to tackle child sexual exploitation in Rochdale.

The four men arrested are:

Gul Zaman, 32, charged with one count of rape to appear at Minshull Street Crown Court on 10 July.

Mohammed Ishaque, 56, from Rochdale, charged with inciting a child to engage in prostitution. He is due to appear before Bury and Rochdale Magistrates on 19 June.

Shohaib Shabbir, 28, from Oldham, charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual activity with a child. He is due to appear before Bury and Rochdale Magistrates on 19 June 2015.

Irshad Wani, 38, of Rochdale, charged with seven counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of child grooming. He will next appear at Minshull Street Crown Court 6 July 2015.

In 2007, the victim, who is under 16, was raped and assaulted in the Rochdale area.

Teenager attacked with baseball bat and metal bar in Rochdale

A 15-year-old boy has been attacked with a baseball bat and metal bar by a group in Rochdale.

The victim was walking along the park area known as Robbie's Common near Moss Street and Dodgson Street between 5.45pm and 6.15pm on Sunday.

He was approached by four teenagers and assaulted with the metal bar and baseball bat without provocation.

The offenders are described as being Asian, in their mid to late teens with two of them wearing baseball caps and glasses.

Detective Constable Sarah O’Connor said:

“The victim was set upon savagely by the group who hit him around the head and body with the weapons. He suffered severe head and facial injuries and is in a lot of pain." “I would ask anyone who witnessed the assault on or recognises the description of the group to call us as soon as possible.”

– Detective Constable Sarah O'Connor

Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 8549 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Man arrested for sexual assault on Rochdale bus

A man has been arrested after a 13-year-old boy was sexually assaulted on a bus.

The 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and remains in police custody for questioning.

The incident happened on a bus travelling from Rochdale to Middleton on Sunday April 21st.

The offender got on and sat near to the young boy then performed a sex act upon himself and sexually assaulted him.

CCTV released after sex attack on teenage boy riding bus

CCTV Images Credit: GMP

Police investigating a sex attack on a 13-year-old boy on a bus in Rochdale have released CCTV images of a man they want to speak to in connection to the incident.

The teenager had just left Rochdale bus station when a man sat near to him and performed a sex act on himself before approaching the boy and sexually assaulting him.

The incident happened around 11.30 on the morning of April 25th and the man got off the bus near Hopwood Hall College in Middleton.

The victim was said to have been left ‘distressed’.

Constable Steve Farnell said: “This young boy was absolutely shocked to see the offender performing a sex act in such close proximity to him, but became even more distressed when the offender sat next to him and physically assaulted him with a clear sexual intent."

“No-one, not least someone of such a young age, should ever be subjected to this sort of sexual assault and we need to find this man as clearly he is a danger to other people."

“I would ask people to look carefully at this image and urge anyone who has information or who recognises the man in this picture to call us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Call for more support for reduntant Carcraft workers

The government insists it's doing all it can to help workers made redundant by the collapse of car supermarket Carcraft.

Around 150 jobs were lost at the firm's Rochdale base in April and a further 350 across the country.

Concern about money owed to staff was raised by Heywood and Middleton MP Liz McInnes and Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk.

The business minister Anna Soubry said workers should take advantage of the government's redundancy payment service:

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