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<b>Wednesday 25 June:</b> Police miss murder; witnesses unveiled; armed robbery and no congestion charging if you don't want it

Published on June 25th 2008.

PASSING SENTENCE at Manchester Crown Court, Mr Justice Blake hit out at police for failing to spot that Jason Taylor, whose body had 84 injuries, had been murdered. Jailing his assailants, ex-girlfriend Deborah Bushill and her new boyfriend, Stephen Crawford, for life, he suggested that sudden deaths should be treated as suspicious until proven otherwise.

BOTH POLICE and community groups in Greater Manchester were dismayed by the recent Law Lords ruling effectively removing the cloak of anonymity from witnesses in murder trials. Over the last two years witnesses in Manchester murder trials have been able to give evidence anonymously to avoid reprisals, enabling police to persuade previously reluctant witnesses to come forward. They fear that impending trials will be untenable and that there will be a spate of appeals from defendants found guilty in trials featuring anonymous witnesses.

THREE MEN held up and robbed cash from the Sainsbury's petrol station on Wilmslow Road, Heald Green in the early hours of this morning. The masked men, dressed in dark clothing and described by staff as Asian, had two handguns. Stockport Police are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

SIR HOWARD BERNSTEIN, Manchester City Council Chief Executive and one of the main instigators of the plan to introduce congestion charging to Manchester, said that implementation of charging has to be acceptable to both the general public and business and will not go ahead if the planned extensive polling of the Greater Manchester community comes down against congestion charging.

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