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  1. ITV Report

Men taking dip in Cheshire hotel hot tub leads to police finding loaded gun

Two Manchester criminals were arrested in their swimming shorts after taking a dip in a hot tub at a hotel spa.

The astonishing swoop by police was captured on CCTV footage which has now been released after both men were locked up.

A third man was also arrested - as he slept in a room at the same hotel. The CCTV footage shows Kane Birch, 23, and Macauley Peacock, 24, in the spa at the Village Hotel on Centre Park Square, Warrington, in June.

Both knew they were wanted by police, detectives said.

Birch, from Ainsbrook Avenue, Moston, and Peacock, of Kilmaine Avenue, Blackley, had just stepped out of the hotel's hot tub when the footage begins. They walk down to the edge of the hotel's swimming pool - before police run around a corner and pounce.

Both men are held on the poolside and led away - as a bemused bather is seen carrying on swimming in the pool.

A loaded gun, a Glock pistol, was later found in their room at the hotel, alongside an encrypted mobile phone and a key to a stolen Audi car.

Birch, said Cheshire Police, was the 'primary target' and the reason police attended the hotel.

He was said to have been wanted by officers as part of an undercover operation by Cheshire Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit, although no further details were released.

The force said that at a court hearing in September, Birch was jailed for four years for conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

Cheshire Police said he played a 'significant role' in a network supplying drugs to Macclesfield from Manchester.

Kane Birch was the primary target and the reason the police had attended the hotel. Credit: Cheshire Police

Peacock pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm.

At Chester Crown Court on Monday he was also sentenced for arson with intent to endanger life.

The force said he received a 14 year sentence in total, five years for the gun and nine years for the arson offence, the details of which haven't been released.

Judge Simon Berkson deamed Peacock to be a 'dangerous offender.' Credit: Cheshire Police

The third man - 20-year-old Dean Murphy, from Manchester - was found by police asleep in a double bed in a room at the spa swoop.

A judge sentenced Murphy to eight years, five for possession of a firearm and three years for heroin and crack cocaine offences, the force said.

No further details have been released by Cheshire Police.

Dean Murphy was found asleep on the hotel room bed. Credit: Cheshire Police

Police said that following an extensive search of the room, officers seized a black bag on the windowsill which contained the loaded Glock pistol.

Peacock was found with £800 cash, a fake Rolex watch and a key to a black Volkswagen Golf parked on the hotel's car park, which was stolen, the force said.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Mike Evans said: "This is yet another example of people travelling into Cheshire to inflict harm on our communities thinking they can get away with it.

"But my message is that we will relentlessly pursue them to ensure they pay for their crimes.

"These men knew they were wanted by police yet they naively believed by hiding out in a hotel they would avoid detection – they were proved wrong.

"We also recovered a loaded gun in what is a significant step in our fight against organised crime and has no doubt saved lives."