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MCR Police Reports: 17-23 February

Murderer on the loose, Cregan's mother cleared and police say Leon Cudworth's death 'not suspicious'

Written by . Published on February 21st 2014.

MCR Police Reports: 17-23 February

Here at Confidential we get a constant stream of reports, releases and updates from Greater Manchester Police. This is a small selection of the reports received so far this week, not all of them.

Some do make for depressing reading but it's worth remembering that Greater Manchester has a population of 2.6m and that recent figures show crime rates have fallen across both the region and the country.

Saturday 22 February: Police hunting escaped murderer

UPDATE (Midday 24/02/14): Maxwell was arrested at 11.50am on Monday 24 February in Albert Park, Salford. Another man was arrested on suspicion of assisting an escapee.

Police are hunting Paul Maxwell, 49, a convicted murderer who gave officers the slip and darted while out on day release in Rochdale town centre on Friday 21 February.

Maxwell, convicted of murdering and robbing an 85-year-old man in Wakefield in 1996, is described as white, about 5ft 7in tall, of medium build with short brown hair and blue eyes. He wears glasses and was last seen wearing blue jeans, a grey fleece top and white training shoes. He was also wearing a deerstalker hat at the time.

Paul MaxwellPaul MaxwellHe is thought to have ties in Denton, Rochdale, Middleton and West Yorkshire.

Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick said: "It has now been more than 24 hours since Maxwell has absconded and our inquiries to trace him are ongoing. We are pursuing a number of leads and we will continue to explore every possible avenue in finding him.

"Because Maxwell may have limited access to money, he may surface in the areas he is known to have links to so I would urge people to be on their guard and if you see this man, please do not approach him but call police immediately.

"While we have no specific intelligence to say Maxwell is a threat to the public, he was convicted of the murder of a 85-year-old man and a robbery so if he does run out of money and becomes desperate, he may seek to commit further criminal acts. For that reason, it is important we warn people that Maxwell is still at large and ask that people are particularly vigilant at this time, particularly if you are or know an elderly person.

"I would ask anyone with information about where he currently is, has been or could be heading to contact us in confidence."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or 0161 856 4473 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


Police are hunting MaxwellPolice are hunting Maxwell


Thursday 20 February: Killer Cregan's mother cleared

The mother of police-murderer Dale Cregan has been cleared in court of trying to obtain secret information from a police call handler as the police searched for her son following the brutal murders of father and son David and Mark Short in 2012.

Dale CreganDale CreganAnita Cregan, 56, Kathryn Smith, 25 and Sean Booth, 31 all denied misconduct in a public office between 1 September 2011 and 9 September 2012. All were cleared.

The prosecution claimed that police call handler Smith, the girlfirend of Booth, who had grown up on the same street as Dale Cregan, gave information to her boyfriend who then passed the information on to the Cregans.

Dale Cregan was given a whole-life sentence for the murders of PCs Nicola Hughes, 23 and Fiona Bone, 32. Cregan shot the officers dead after luring them to a house in Hattersley.

Wednesday 19 February: Fourteen arrests following police raids

Fourteen people (twelve men and two women) have been arrested following a series of drug and firearms warrants carried out across twelve addresses and a yacht across south Manchester, Trafford, Cumbria and Cheshire.

The raids recovered firearms (including a machine gun, shotgun, handgun and a crossbow), £100,000 of cash and five addresses containing cannabis farms and Class A drugs.

Cannabis recovered by policeCannabis recovered by policeApproximately 100 officers from the dog, firearms, XTF and tactical aid units supported financial investigators and neighbourhood officers on the raids in properties in Broadheath, Timperley, Hale, Mere, Baguley and Wythenshawe.
Detective Inspector Frank Morris who has been coordinating the operation said: “This is an excellent result and these arrests are part of an on-going investigation into the criminal activity of members of an organised crime group.
“The operation has been made possible due to the excellent partnership activity between Operation Bank, the Trafford Council Benefit Fraud Investigators and the Department of Works and Pensions Investigation team.
“All have made a significant contribution to the wide-ranging and meticulous intelligence gathering and planning process ahead of today's operation. The seizures along with the fourteen arrests have resulted in us being able to tackle drug culture head on and have taken serious weapons off the streets of Greater Manchester.”

Anyone with information on the supply of drugs in their local area can are urged to contact police or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

CrossbowCrossbow found in raid

Monday 17 February: 15-year-old Leon Cudworth's death 'not suspicious':

Police continue to investigate the death of 15-year-old Oldham teenager, Leon Cudworth, after he was found dead in an alleyway off Ripponden Road just before 8am on Saturday 15 February, but are not considering the death as suspicious.

Leon CudsworthLeon CudworthDetective Chief Inspector Phil Reade said: “We are not treating Leon’s death as suspicious.

"The investigation has revealed that Leon was captured on CCTV leaving friends just after 1am at McDonalds on Huddersfield Road, making his way home. He is later seen just before 1.20am on CCTV on Ripponden Road just 300 meters from his home address. Sadly his death appears to be the result of a tragic set of circumstances.

“We are awaiting further toxicology tests to help answer some of the questions around what caused his death which may take some weeks. In the meantime the investigation is continuing to piece together Leon’s last movements.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Monday 17 February: Middleton pub attack leaves man critical

At around 2.10am on Sunday 16 February a 37-year-old man was attacked outside the Assheton Arms pub, Market Place, Middleton.

The man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police are appealing for information and witnesses.

Detective Constable Dan Daly said: "There were a number of people at the pub at the time of the attack, both inside and outside, and we would ask that these people come forward and tell police what they may have seen or heard.

"We would ask anyone who has any information about who may be involved to call us urgently."

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 8701 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

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Maria McCoyFebruary 18th 2014.

How sad, his loved ones are going through something I can even begin to imagine. My thoughts are with them and the poor person who first found Leon it has to be any adults nightmare xx

AnonymousFebruary 19th 2014.

rip leon ill miss u so much in class knowing u wont be there :( so sad :( u made me laugh when i was down and u made school worth going to love u so much leon u was a good freind to em xx love clo

AnonymousFebruary 19th 2014.

rip leon love u so much u was such a really good freind to me we had our good n bad times good tyms :( xx

AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2014.

Do you know what was happening in The Birchin on Joiner Street on Fri? Loads of police vans, police running round with tazers?

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