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'It's like my brother's life never mattered' family offer reward to help find Oldham teenager's killer

Tommy's brother Kyle says it's as if his brother's life 'never mattered' Credit: Men Media

The family of a teenager murdered when he was celebrating his birthday two years ago are offering a £10,000 reward in a bid to find crucial witnesses.

Tommy Bilton, who was 19, was stabbed to death in the early hours after a fight outside a house party in Oldham.

A man was put on trial for his murder but cleared.

Tommy's family are appealing for help to find his killer Credit: Men media

Tommy's family say they will never give up on trying to find his killer. They are using the lion’s share of a criminal compensation payment they received to appeal for witnesses who can help police solve the case.

Describing the payment - which is paid out by the government to blameless victims of violent crime - as ‘blood money’ his family say they want the award put to a good use.

The cash we got in compensation means nothing to us, it’s blood money. We don’t want to touch it, but use it to get justice. How can no one have seen Tommy being stabbed. It was murder someone put a knife into my son. There must have been someone who saw something.

There are lots of flats where it happened. But people are scared, they won’t come forward. It is like he never existed, but he was a very popular lad. I need someone to come forward.

When they took him in the ambulance and he was freezing cold. I held his hand and said to him ‘don’t leave us Tom we all love you’. They told us he was bleeding from inside and his last chance was a blood transfusion. It was like a nightmare and we still wake up every morning thinking of him, there is no escape.

– Tommy's mother Mandy
Tommy, was knifed outside a house party on August 15th 2015. Credit: Men media

Tommy is survived by three brothers, Corran, 19, Kyle, 26, Johnathan, 31, and sister Holly, 29.

At Manchester Crown Court last year Matthew Stubbs, 24, of Horsedge Road, Oldham, was found guilty of GBH with intent, after stabbing Tommy’s friend, Simon Dalton, 24, in the back. But he was cleared of murdering Tommy, who was stabbed in the groin.

Two other men, who admitted affray, were sentenced for taking part in the brawl which claimed Tommy’s life - but a judge concluded neither had anything to do with Tommy’s death.

The court was told ‘Bad blood’ between two groups of young people led to violence breaking outside Stott House, on the Eldon Street Estate.

Tommy had gone out to celebrate his birthday, which had been on August 12th.

Kyle Bilton: Credit: Men Media

Kyle said: “It feels like his life never mattered. Someone took his life and no one cares anymore. He was full of life, he had good mates, a decent job.

“We will get justice. We will never give up on him. He’s my brother, and he would have done the same for me.”

A spokeswoman for GMP said: “We would ask anyone with information about this case to call using the 101 number or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”


WATCH: Project giving victims of child abuse a voice

A project giving a voice to victims of child abuse is coming to Rochdale.

The Truth Project has no legal consequences, but stories will be published anonymously.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will use this information to shape its recommendations to Parliament to help keep children safe in future

Ashley Derricott reports from Rochdale:


  1. Matt O'Donoghue, ITV News

Warning to warm weather swimmers after young footballer drowns in reservoir

Paul Lawson. Credit: Facebook.

Emotional tributes are being paid to a teenager who drowned while swimming in a reservoir on a scorching hot day.

He's been named locally as Paul Lawson and it's thought his friends desperately tried to save him after he got into difficulties.

They've said he was a 'great guy' and a keen footballer who was 'loved by so many'.

Matt O'Donoghue reports from Greenbooth Reservoir in Rochdale:

A teenager has drowned in a reservoir in Rochdale

Police at Greenboth Reservoir where teenager has drowned Credit: Manchester Evening News

Police are investigating after a teenager has drowned in a reservoir in Rochdale.

The boy is reported to have got into difficulties in the water at Greenbooth Reservoir.

A major emergency services operation was launched after the alarm was raised just before 6 pm tonight.

According to reports from witnesses he was in the water swimming with friends at the time.

One witness said the teen’s friends tried to help him in the water as they shouted at another group who were stood on the side of the reservoir to get help.

Police cordon at Greenbooth Reservoir Credit: Manchester Evening News

The tragedy on one of the hottest days of the year happened as the Canal and River Trust issued a warning today to young people to stay out of open water this summer.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said a number of specialist firefighters were sent to the scene alongside a mountain rescue team.

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