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Greater Manchester dad found not guilty of murdering two-week-old baby daughter

After days of deliberations, the jury found him not guilty.

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Greater Manchester Police

A dad from Greater Manchester who was accused of murdering his two-week-old baby daughter has been found not guilty by a jury.

Darin Harvey, 26, of Birch Road, in Wardle, was accused of shaking his baby daughter Felicity-May Harvey at the home he shared with his fiancée and the baby’s mother on Stirling Place, Heywood, on January 8th, 2021. He denied the offence.

After almost a week of deliberations the jury found Mr Harvey not guilty of murder, or of manslaughter. 

During the two-week trial at Bolton Crown Court, prosecutors alleged that Felicity had suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries after being shaken with an ‘abusive level of force’.

Greater Manchester Police

As reported in The Manchester Evening News, the prosecution, led by Tim Storrie KC, pointed to ‘inconsistent’ accounts Mr Harvey first gave to the police following his arrest in January 2021, compared to what he said to the jury at the trial. 

The prosecution said he went to see Felicity soon after his fiancée, Heather Connolly, had left the property just after 2pm, shaking her after going to feed her.

However, Mr Harvey consistently denied this, saying he was in the toilet until just before 2.30pm. 

He added that he went into the bedroom around 2.28pm, picked up Felicity — who was born with a cleft lip and palette — with ‘no concerns’ before looking at her and noticing she was ‘blue’ with her eyes rolling in her head.

Rept0n1x / Wikimedia

Soon after he called Ms Connolly, who was ‘luckily’ outside the house at the time, before they called the emergency services who rushed the baby to hospital. 

Felicity tragically died three days later on January 11th at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

In evidence, Mr Harvey said it was the ‘God’s honest truth’ that he did not kill his daughter.

Defending Mr Harvey, James Mulholland KC asked him questions about the events of January 8th, with Mr Harvey saying: “The world stopped at that moment”  – as he noticed something was wrong with Felicity.

Gerald England / Geograph

Mr Harvey added: “I wanted to help police and tell them everything I could. They wouldn’t accept anything I was saying.

“I was scared and petrified, I was being bombarded with questions… the pressure was immense. I had no choice but to give them answers.

“The pressure and the way they were making me feel, I was just talking and talking and just spoke when I didn’t know an answer, I wasn’t lying, I just didn’t remember.” Mr Mulholland asked the defendant if he shook Felicity-May. Mr Harvey replied: “Hand on my heart, no.” 

In cross-examination Mr Harvey told the jury: “I didn’t shake her, I will say that until I’ve gone blue, I will put that on my gravestone. They [police] took advantage of a broken man. I’m telling you I did not shake her. I don’t know how many times I have to say this.

Richard Sutcliffe / Wikimedia

“All I could think about was my baby… my heart was ripped into pieces, which the police couldn’t care less about in those interviews. I was not trying to con the police at all, I wanted to help but they were practically torturing me.”

Mr Harvey went on to accuse the baby’s mother, Ms Connolly, of causing Felicity the fatal injuries.

He said: “She knew what she had done. She knew she fed her, she told two people she had fed her and something [has] gone wrong… she panicked and shook her. There’s no other explanation — that’s what happened.”

After days of deliberations the jury was given directions by judge Robert Bright KC that they could make a majority verdict — returning a few hours later. Gasps of relief could be heard from the public gallery as the jury foreman delivered the not guilty verdicts.

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Stagecoach hiring over 100 new bus drivers for Bee Network with £31k salaries

Fancy a career change?

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Stagecoach

Stagecoach Manchester is hiring over 100 new bus drivers to work from its Oldham depot, following the second phase of the Bee Network launch in March.

You can apply for a range of roles, from positions with no experience required to fully qualified bus drivers.

Successful applicants will receive full training as part of the job, and trainees will get paid to train. Then after only 12 months’ service at Stagecoach, drivers can expect to earn up to £16 per hour, which equates to £31.6K per year, before overtime.

As well as that, drivers that already hold a PCV licence may be eligible to receive a £1,200 joining bonus.

Stagecoach

There’s also a host of other benefits available to all Stagecoach employees, like 28 days paid holiday, generous pension and free Stagecoach bus travel for successful applicants and a companion.

Rob Jones, Managing Director at Stagecoach Manchester said: “Expanding our offering in Oldham means we’ll be investing more in the economy and supporting our local community, as well as strengthening our workforce.

“Whether you’re looking for a career change or you’re a fully qualified, experienced bus driver, there’s a role for everyone here in Oldham.

“We’re looking for personable and dedicated drivers who are ready to help us build on the success of the Bee Network and connect the people of Oldham and Greater Manchester with the places and people that are important to them.”

Stagecoach

Phil Cornwall, bus driver at Stagecoach Manchester, said: “I’ve been a driver at Stagecoach for 25 years and I couldn’t recommend it more.

“From the perks to the people to the passengers, it really is a great place to work.”

To apply, head to the Stagecoach website HERE.

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Two men charged with murder after torso discovered in Salford nature reserve

BREAKING:

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Greater Manchester Police

Two men have now been charged with murder, following the discovery of a human torso in Kersal Dale.

As well as that, more suspected human remains were also discovered this morning, Monday April 29th, in an alleyway close to the railway lines off Worsley Road, Eccles.

This follows earlier discoveries of human remains over the past three weeks, at Kersal Dale, Blackleach Reservoir and Colliery Wood, all in Salford.

Greater Manchester Police


Michal Jaroslaw Polchowski (25/04/1956) and Marcin Majerkiewicz (10/04/1982) both of Worsley Road, Eccles, have been charged with murder.

They are set to appear at Tameside Magistrates Court this afternoon.

While formal identification is still ongoing, the remains found at Kersal Dale are believed to be of a local man in his 60s. The remains found at the other three locations are still to be tested, but police are confident they belong to the same victim.

ACC Sarah Jackson said: “We have had large numbers of officers, staff and specialists working diligently on this investigation over the last three weeks. It has been very much a large, collective effort, with the victim and family at the heart of it from the outset.

“We have specially trained officers deployed to support the family as they come to terms with this tragic news. They are aware of this morning’s further discovery and will continue to be kept up to date with how we are progressing.

“Despite the charges brought today, our work is far from over.

“The scenes we already have established in Bury and Salford will remain in place for much of this week whilst our searches and enquiries continue. Local officers will continue to patrol the impacted areas to provide reassurance.

“We will continue following every line of enquiry to recover and reunite the victim with his family, bringing a dignified end to this terrible scenario.

“I’d like to thank the communities of Salford and beyond for their cooperation throughout this investigation. I know this incident has come as a shock, and the support we’ve had from those in the area is very much appreciated.”

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More human remains discovered in Greater Manchester as police identify victim

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N Chadwick / Geograph

Detectives investigating the discovery of a torso in Kersal Dale have found more human remains around Greater Manchester.

GMP released a statement on the weekend, revealing they had opened four scenes for extensive searches – one of them at a warehouse in Bury, and three in Salford.

Searches took place at Blackleach reservoir, where human remains were found, and a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood.

Officers believe they have now identified the man, who they believe to be a man in his 60s that lived in Salford, and his family have been informed.

Two suspects have already been arrested in connection with the murder probe, with officers saying they are thought to have lived with the victim.

Greater Manchester Police / Facebook


Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, Senior Investigating Officer for this investigation, said in a statement at Blackleach reservoir yesterday, Sunday April 28th: “We have continued to make significant progress in our investigation into human remains being found in Kersal earlier this month.

“From day one, our priority has been to identify the man and his family so that we can give them the support and the answers that they need.

“Thanks to meticulous forensic work, we are now confident we have identified the man. Formal identification hasn’t yet taken place, but we believe he is a man in his 60s and lived in Salford.

“Specially-trained family liaison officers have met with his family this afternoon to give them the devastating news, and we will do all that we can to support them at this awful time.

“We believe he is known to the two suspects we have in custody. They have remained in custody for questioning over the weekend, as we work to establish how the victim met this tragic outcome.”

He continued: “We have painstakingly worked to follow up every line of inquiry in this investigation. Over the last couple of days, we have acted on information and had four scenes in place for extensive searches – one of them is at a warehouse in Bury, and three of them are in Salford, including here at Blackleach reservoir.

“Today, we have found some human remains at the reservoir here, and last night a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood. Forensic tests will continue to establish whose remains these are, but we are very confident that this is also the victim in our investigation.

“We have also been searching a house in Winton where we believe the victim and the two suspects lived. We have found evidence that the victim is likely to have died there – most likely in late March.

“While this is significant progress, we know there is still some way to go to complete this investigation. I also recognise details of this case will have been distressing for the people of Salford and beyond – including the officers that are diligently working on this investigation, and most importantly the man’s heartbroken family.

“Local officers will continue to patrol the affected areas, and we will provide updates when we have more information.”

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