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Judge: Linzi Ashton's murder 'deliberate and calculating'

Judge Mr Justice Parker told Michael Cope as he sentenced him to life imprisonment for the "deliberate and calculating" murder of his ex-girlfriend Linzi Ashton:

You set out in a most deliberate and calculating manner to kill your victim.

This was a savage and sustained attack on a defenceless woman in her own home.

The injuries that were caused, in part in all probability by use of a weapon, that I have recounted, were truly horrific and it is difficult to imagine the suffering, mental and physical, she must have endured as you brutally beat her to death.

You violently took the life of a young mother, who had the care of two small children.

Michael Cope jailed for life over 'remorseless' murder

A jealous and paranoid ex-boyfriend has been jailed for life for the "remorseless" murder of a mother-of-two.

Michael Cope, 28, strangled and beat Linzi Ashton, who suffered 108 separate injuries in an hour-long attack at her home before going on the run, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Michael Cope has been jailed for life for the murder of Linzi Ashton.
Michael Cope has been jailed for life for the murder of Linzi Ashton. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Around 40 members of her family and friends wept as the court was told of the injuries she suffered while being beaten and strangled to death.

Cope, from Salford, admitted murder and three counts of assault yesterday. A single charge of rape was ordered to lie on file.

He was told he must serve a minimum of 27 years before being considered for parole.



Exclusive: 'I still want justice for Anthony'

by Matt O'Donaghue

Greater Manchester chief constable Sir Peter Fahy will be charged over the death of unarmed Salford father Anthony Grainger.

It's 2 years since he was shot in the chest by a Greater Manchester police officer.

Anthony Grainger's partner, Gail, talks exclusively to Matt O'Donoghue:

GMP 'seeking resolution for force and the family'

Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said:

Greater Manchester Police notes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to take no further action against any officer following the death of Anthony Grainger in March 2012.

The force also notes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute Greater Manchester Police for a breach of section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Since Mr Grainger's death 22 months ago, Greater Manchester Police has co-operated fully with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the Crown Prosecution Service and HM Coroner. Our sympathies remain with Mr Grainger's family and we deeply regret the loss that they have suffered.

Mr Grainger's family, and the officers involved, have had to wait a long time for this decision to be reached and we share the frustrations over those delays. However, we understand that it was vitally important that the investigation was carried out thoroughly to establish all the facts.

Now that a charging decision has been made regarding the force itself, it is equally important that these legal processes are allowed to take their course unimpeded in order to seek a resolution for both the family of Mr Grainger and the force.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigated this matter independently and we await the official publication of their report. This matter also remains the subject of a coronial inquest, so Greater Manchester Police is unable to make further comment at this time.

Police chief need not appear in court personally

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy is accused of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act as he is "corporation sole" for the force, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

This is a legal status and means that he does not share criminal liability or will personally have to appear in court.


CPS: 'Serious deficiencies' in lead up to shooting

Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said:

We have completed our review of the evidence provided by the Independent Police Complaints Commission in relation to the death of Anthony Grainger.

After careful consideration we have decided that the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, should be prosecuted as a corporation sole for failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

In addition to every employer’s responsibility towards their employees, the law also imposes a duty to ensure that work is carried out in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons outside of their employment are not exposed to risk.

The chief officers of police forces are treated as employers for this purpose.

It is alleged that there were serious deficiencies in the preparation for this operation that unnecessarily exposed individuals to risk.

Criminal proceedings are active and the defendant has the right to a fair trial.

It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.

– Alison Saunders, DPP

Police chief charged over shooting of unarmed man

Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Sir Peter Fahy will be charged over an alleged health and safety breach linked to the shooting of unarmed Anthony Grainger in March 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Anthony Grainger, 36, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest in 2012. Credit: IPCC

Read more: Manchester police chief charged over shooting of unarmed man

Woman and son shot outside bingo hall in Manchester

A 56-year-old woman and her son were shot during a targeted attack outside a bingo hall in Manchester, police said.

The woman was being collected by her from Gala Bingo in Harpurhey when they were attacked by two men who pulled up in a black car and blocked them into the car park.

The woman suffered a gunshot wound to her elbow, while her 22-year-old son was shot in the wrist. They abandoned their car and walked the half hour journey to the nearest hospital. Detective Superintendent Alex Millet said:

This appears to be a targeted incident which could have had even more dire consequences.

Thankfully it doesn't look like either are too seriously injured, but we'll know more tomorrow.

We believe the black car was driven by two white men and it's from that car that the shots were fired. I want to reassure people that we have had armed response officers to the scene and are now investigating.

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