Man and woman jailed after pickaxe-wielding racist rant

A woman who hurled racial abuse at a garage owner has been jailed alongside her pickaxe-wielding nephew.

On 24 October 2017, Sarah Crone from Oldham was driving her silver Nissan Juke into an industrial estate in Moston when her vehicle was clipped by the rear end of a low loader.

The owner of a local garage – a man in his 30s – noticed the vehicle as being part of his fleet and went out to speak to Crone.

On doing so, he was met with a barrage of racial abuse before being threatened Crone’s nephew would come to the garage and ‘sort him out’.

A short time later, 40-year-old John Thornley turned up in his blue Audi Q7, getting out of the luxury SUV, yielding a pickaxe.

Without any warning, Thornley struck the man in his 30s with the weapon, luckily only grazing his neck but he bore the main brunt of the blow on his collarbone.

When the victim went to call the police, Thornley tried pleading with him as he fled the scene.

Crone told responding officers that she had been attacked by someone at the garage and therefore asked Thornley to come to her rescue and when questioned why he didn’t stay at the scene, Crone told them Thornley was on the school run.

Despite pleading her ignorance, CCTV shown to the jury at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square influenced their decision to find her guilty of assault and racially aggravated public order. Thornley previously pleaded guilty to the assault.

Today, Thursday 28 March 2019, they have both been jailed for more than a year.

Detective Constable Terry Macmillan of GMP’s City of Manchester Division, said: