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Two Weird Crime Reports

The tragedy, the horror, the seediness

Published on July 7th 2012.


Two Weird Crime Reports

Crime 1

Three women have been sentenced to more than 23 years in total for storing firearms.

Calley O’Connor (born 25/11/90) of Berigan Close, Longsight has today Friday 6 July 2012 been sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to eight years and two months imprisonment.

Stephanie Drewitt (born 24/04/92) of Britnall Avenue, Longsight has today, Friday 6 July 2012, been sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to eight years and two months imprisonment.

Joanne Dawson (born 10/01/69) of Lamb Close, Longsight was sentenced on Thursday 5 July at Manchester Crown Court to seven years and four months imprisonment.

All three pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of firearms and ammunition.

In the early evening of Tuesday 20 November 2011 police officers received information from the public that firearms were being stored at a house on Lamb Close, Longsight.

Coincidentally, Dawson made an emergency call to the police to report a burglary at her home on Lamb Close.

Officers attended the address, during which Dawson was very anxious and agitated, and she provided conflicting and confusing accounts.

She was challenged by one of the officers about a firearm being in her home. She was clearly frightened and admitted having firearms in the house.

She directed officers to her bedroom where a bag was hidden under her bed.  Inside the bag was a Baikal handgun, an ingram mac 10 automatic machine gun, a silencer, shotgun cartridges and other ammunition.

Calley O’Connor and Stephanie Drewitt visited the house while officers were there, they were uncooperative and anxious.  They were told to leave and return to their own houses.

Dawson made a number of admissions and was arrested at the scene.  As the investigation unfolded both O’Connor and Drewitt were also arrested on suspicion of possession of firearms and ammunition.

Detective Constable Jennifer Wylde from GMP’s Xcalibre Organised Crime Unit said: “Today's result sends out a strong message to anyone who gets involved with guns, that they can expect to face a lengthy prison sentence.

"This firearm and the ammunition were clearly intended for use in organised gang crime, and would no doubt have led to serious injury or death.

“We are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who use, store or supply guns for criminal purpose. By removing these weapons and ammunition we have without doubt prevented further crimes from happening.

"Every gun seized represents a great result for us, but more importantly the public of Greater Manchester, and is one less weapon available to the criminal fraternity."

Anyone with information on gun and gang related crime can call police on 0161 856 9606. Alternatively, you can pass on information anonymously by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Really Horrible Crime 2

A man and woman who violently killed a man and tried to conceal his murder by hiding his body in a suitcase have both been jailed for life. 
David John Hardman (21/08/1960), of Victoria Street, Openshaw, and Tracy Elizabeth Hurrell (03/06/1979), of no fixed address, were both convicted of murdering 49-year-old Lionel Morl following a trial at Preston Crown Court. 

Hurrell was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice. 
Today, Friday 6 July 2012, they were both sentenced to life imprisonment and must serve a minimum of 23 years before they are eligible for parole. 

On the evening of Thursday 11 August 2011, police officers responded to a report of burglary at a flat neighbouring Hardman's. 
While there, the occupants told police that Hurrell had told them there was a dead body in Hardman's flat. 

Officers went to the flat and noticed a rotten smell coming from within. 

After knocking they noticed Hardman hiding in the hallway. He eventually let them in and when they asked what the smell in the flat was, Hardman told them that it was a coming from an abscess in his foot. 

The officers went into the bathroom where they noticed a suitcase swarming with flies and maggots. Inside was a decomposing body, later identified as Lionel Morl. 

Hardman and Hurrell - who was also inside the flat - were arrested. 
A post-mortem examination showed that Lionel had died following a violent attack in which he had been stabbed and beaten. It is estimated he had been dead for about two weeks. 

Senior Investigating Officer, Andy Tattersall, said: "Hurrell and Hardman were both dependant on alcohol and drugs and went to desperate lengths to obtain cash to fund their habits. This is reflected in the theft of Lionel's benefits before and after they killed him. 

"Each blames the other for what happened and both have fabricated different stories so we might never know exactly what happened and why. 

"What we do know is that from start to finish, they worked together: in stealing Lionel's benefits, in his violent murder and in trying to hide his body. 

"Lionel was a popular member of the community who was in the process of re-contacting his siblings when he was murdered. Sadly they never got the opportunity to reunite, but I hope they find comfort in today's sentencing." 

Lionel Morl lived near to the defendants in a flat on Brade Close, Openshaw. He was a transsexual who was known to many in the area as Suzie. 

At the time of his death Hardman and Hurrell were stealing his benefits. 

They even continued to steal his benefits after they had killed him. 
It is believed Hurrell stole his card while staying with him. He told friends he had taken pity on her and allowed her to move in for a short time. On about 25 July 2012, he asked her to leave his flat.

Witness later told police how they saw her being violent and abusive to him. 

At 4.46pm on 28 July 2011, Hardman and Hurrell attempted to withdraw money from Lionel's account at Openshaw Post Office, but the account was empty. 

At that time, Lionel was visiting a friend who was helping him to trace his brother and sister over the internet. 

At about 5.30pm he told her he would quickly return to his flat to get his glasses so he could read some messages but was never seen alive again. 

It is not known when Lionel was killed, but it is believed he was confronted by the defendants when he returned to his flat to collect his glasses. 

Two people, believed to be the defendants, were caught on CCTV footage timed 5.42pm on 28 July 2011 walking towards Brade Close. They were pulling a wheeled suitcase. 

At 07.57 on 31 July 2011, two people, thought to be the defendants, were caught on CCTV wheeling a large suitcase (similar to the one recovered) along Victoria Street, following the route which would lead from Brade Close. It is possible they were transporting Lionel's body at this time.

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