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Police launch murder investigation after man dies 15 years after being stabbed

A criminal investigation was launched after his death last May

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Greater Manchester Police & Nigel Chadwick / Wikimedia

A murder investigation was launched after a man died last year of complications of being stabbed 15 years ago – as police make fresh appeal.

Detectives in Bury are appealing for help to solve a murder which resulted from a knife attack back in October 2008.

Christopher Linton, 40, sadly died on May 30th 2023 from complications believed to be linked to when he was the victim of a stabbing.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) launched a murder investigation after his death.

Greater Manchester Police

Mr Linton, then 25, left the Derby Arms pub in Bury – which has since been demolished – and walked along Bolton Road, in the early hours of October 4th 2008, shortly before he was assaulted.

He was seen talking to two women near the Blockbuster video store and Raja’s Indian Takeaway when the pair got into a black car with two men.

Mr Linton continued to speak to them when one of the men stabbed him in the neck. He managed to make his way back to the pub to seek help and an ambulance was called.

Mr Linton suffered life-threatening injuries from the stabbing. He was taken to hospital where he was treated but never fully recovered from the attack.

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Following the stabbing, two men were arrested but no one was charged in connection with the assault. 

Last year, Mr Linton was admitted to Fairfield General Hospital where he tragically passed away on May 30th.

Officers launched a criminal investigation after his death and have since made a fresh appeal for anyone with details about the attack to come forward to help police finally solve the investigation.

Mr Linton’s mother, Tracey McLeod said her son ‘was kind-hearted and always put others before himself’.

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She issued a plea to the public to assist police so they can ‘help a devastated family and help my son Chris to rest in peace’.

Ms McLeod said: “My son Christopher, who liked to go by the name of Chris, lost his life on May 30, 2023 at Fairfield Hospital when he was just 40 years old.

“Chris was kind-hearted and always put others before himself. He had a heart of gold, he was funny, loving, and most of all caring, and he had a fantastic personality.

“Chris touched the heart strings of everyone who met him: family, friends, colleagues, and strangers. Chris had a son he loved so very much but now his son has lost his father.”

Nigel Chadwick / Wikimedia

She continued: “Chris was a son, grandson, nephew, brother, uncle, father and brother-in-law. His greatest achievement was becoming an RAC inspector, which he was very proud of and his family was incredibly proud of him.

“Words cannot describe the pain and trauma that Chris’ death has had on our family. The pain and sadness is with us all day and night and it doesn’t go away. I am pleading as a mother for help from the public. Please help us as a family get some closure from the grief we are going through.

“Chris was brutally stabbed in the neck 15 years ago, and the people involved left my son for dead. This happened at the back of Blockbusters on Bolton Road. Please come forward with any information to help a devastated family and help my son Chris to rest in peace.”

David Dixon / Geograph

Detective Inspector Alex Wilkinson, of GMP’s Major Incident Team said the investigation team ‘remains determined to identify the person or persons responsible and bring them to justice’.

He said: “Chris was an innocent victim of an unprovoked and terrible attack that tragically resulted in his death. 

“Although Chris passed away years after the incident took place, this has not lessened the impact on his family who have had to watch the person they love pass away from an act of senseless violence.”

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He continued: “Chris’ family remain at the forefront of this investigation, and we will continue supporting them with specialist officers. Despite the passage of time between Chris’ death and the attack on him, the investigation team remains determined to identify the person or persons responsible and bring them to justice.

“I would like to appeal to anyone with any information about the assault to do the right thing and contact police. The information you have could be the piece we need to solve this investigation and finally bring some closure to a grieving family.”

You can report information via GMP’s website (www.gp.police.uk) or by calling 101, quoting the 495 4/10/2008.

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The Body Shop to shut half its UK shops after falling into administration  

Sad news for retail

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Kake & PAM pham / Flickr

The Body Shop is to shut half its stores across the UK resulting in hundreds of job losses.

It comes after the British cosmetics retailer announced it had fallen into administration last week, putting 2,000 jobs at risk.

Closures began yesterday (February 20th) with seven stores shutting: Ashford Town Centre, Kent, Bristol Queens Road, Bristol, Canary Wharf, London, Cheapside, London, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Oxford Street-Bond Street, London and Surrey Quays, London.

More store closures are set to follow though no timeframe or dates have been announced as of yet.

Tony Monblat / Flickr

Administrators FRP said the retailer’s current portfolio is ‘no longer viable’ after ‘years of unprofitability’ and that the cuts would ‘help re-energise’ the brand. 

The Body Shop has around 198 shops in the UK and employs around 2,200 people, including 750 staff at its head office.

Around 270 head office jobs are being cut, reducing roles by 40% and leaving around 400 full-time employees. It will restructure roles at its head office to align with its more financially viable strategy going forward.

The Body Shop ambassador programme, where individuals sell the brand’s products for a commission, is also being closed, FRP said.

Kake / Flickr

There will be a ‘renewed focus’ on products, online sales channels and wholesale as part of its restructuring.

FRP said: “A reduced store footprint, will coincide with a renewed focus on the brand’s products, online sales channels and wholesale strategies, bringing the brand in line with industry peers and supporting a return to financial stability.”

The Body Shop was founded by the pioneering British businesswoman and activist Dame Anita Roddick and her husband in 1976.

It established itself as a ground breaking ethical, sustainable brand, rejecting animal testing on cosmetics and promoting environmentally-friendly products and ethical sourcing practices.

@thebodyshop / Instagram

The trailblazing brand has since faced tough competition from other ethical brands including Lush, which was co-founded by Mark Constantine – a former supplier to The Body Shop.

In 2006 the couple sold The Body Shop to French beauty giant L’Oreal.

The Brazilian beauty giant Natura acquired the brand from L’Oreal in 2017, and Aurelius bought The Body Shop for £207m at the end of last year.

Aggressive sales and discounting tactics are believed to have played a role in putting customers off being willing to pay full retail price for its products.

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Hunt is on for mystery National Lottery winner in Greater Manchester

Could it be you?

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The National Lottery / YouTube & Mariam Antadze / Pexels

The National Lottery is on the hunt for the missing winner of its Set For Life draw in Greater Manchester.

Lottery players in the city-region are being urged to check their tickets and claim their 10k-a-month prize for a whole year.

The search is now on to find the owner of the ticket – which was bought in Greater Manchester – who matched the five main numbers in the National Lottery Set For Life draw on February 5th.

The National Lottery / YouTube

The winning numbers on that date were: 3, 4, 8, 10, 28 and the Life Ball was 1.

But the lucky ticket-holder needs to act fast as they only have until August 3rd of this year to claim their prize. The missing winner, or winners if played as part of a syndicate, could be celebrating in style or jetting off on a luxury vacation now.

Andy Carter, Senior Winners Advisor at The National Lottery said: “If you bought a Set For Life ticket in Manchester for the draw on February 5th, it’s time to look everywhere – in the pockets of clothes you might have been wearing at the time, bags, in the car, wallets and purses and in that sideboard or drawer where we all tend to put bits and pieces – and check your tickets.

The National Lottery / YouTube

“Do you live or work in Manchester, do you have family and friends there who you were visiting or were you just passing through?

“We’re desperate to find this mystery ticket-holder and pay out their life-changing prize – imagine the possibilities for them for the next year.

“We have the champagne on ice and our fingers crossed that the lucky winner comes forward to claim their win.”

The National Lottery / YouTube

To help jog the memories of National Lottery players, here’s was happening in Manchester at the time the ticket was purchased: The day before the draw, Manchester United recorded a 3-0 home win against West Ham United while on February 5th, Manchester City travelled to Brentford and returned with all three points after a 3-1 win.

Players can buy and check their tickets online by downloading the National Lottery app or by visiting national-lottery.co.uk.

Anyone not in possession of their ticket, for whatever reason, but who believes they have a genuine claim to the prize can still write to Allwyn, as long as it is within 30 days of the draw.

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Have you got a story or video you think our audience will love? We want to hear from you, drop us an email on submit@propermanchester.com and we’ll get back to you.

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Constance Marten told to say baby died of cot death as tragic details revealed in court

The couple deny all charges

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Greater Manchester Police

Constance Marten’s partner, Mark Gordon, told her to say the baby was a victim of cot death, the Old Bailey has heard.

On Monday (February 19th) jurors were played more of a police interview with Ms Marten, recorded on March 1st last year, just hours after her baby’s body was found in a shed in Brighton.

Marten, 36, and Gordon, 49, went on the run with their newborn daughter Victoria after their car caught flames and was abandoned by the motorway in Bolton in January 2023.

Fire crews recovering the vehicle discovered evidence of a birth in the back seat of the car.

Greater Manchester Police

As reported by the BBC, the court heard how the couple slept in a tent as they evaded authorities, in a bid to keep the baby after Marten’s four other children had been taken into care.

The jury heard Marten tell officers in the interview that she had considered handing herself in to police a couple of weeks after Victoria had died.

The couple are accused of her manslaughter by gross negligence – both deny the charge.

Marten told Gordon to say he was not present when their baby died because she wanted to protect him, ‘because obviously he’s my husband,’ she said.

Greater Manchester Police

She also told detectives that he advised her to say Victoria was a victim of cot death. She said: “Mark advised me to say that it was cot death… and that I wasn’t holding her.

“He advised me to say that I lay her down and then when we woke up she was on her front and she’d passed away.”

She went on to explain that what happened was not a cot death and that Mr Gordon might try to tell them it was ‘in order to protect’ her and her ‘interests’.

In the interview, Marten explained how Victoria died.

Metropolitan Police

Warning: some readers may find the following information distressing.

She said she was feeling ‘extremely tired’ and had fallen asleep hugging Victoria, who was in her jacket. But she said the baby ‘wasn’t moving when I woke up’.

Marten wept as she told police how she came to realise their baby was not breathing. She said they had both tried to resuscitate Victoria but that there was no response to their attempts to revive her.

She said: “I tried to breathe in her mouth and pump her chest. So I wrapped her in a scarf and cradled her for a few minutes. I didn’t know what to do.”

Asked by a detective whether they called for help, Marten replied: “No because she was definitely not alive. I mean she wasn’t alive, so who’s going to help?”

Metropolitan Police

In another police interview conducted on March 2nd, 2023, Marten said that they wrapped Victoria’s body in a black scarf and put her inside a supermarket bag. She explained: “It’s not particularly graceful but that’s all we had.”

She also said her and Gordon would take Victoria’s body out with them, saying: “We always carried Victoria with us… just because I didn’t want to leave her in a tent… a bit strange.”

She told detectives the bag became too heavy to carry and so they sometimes left it inside the tent they were sleeping in.

Marten said she and Gordon were both ‘distraught’ when Victoria died.

Metropolitan Police

Asked how she was feeling after the birth of their daughter, she said: “I was feeling fine. I was elated to be with her actually. To be with one of my children. With Mark, together and parenting.

“It was a really nice Christmas period. I was very happy actually. Until all the media attention – that’s my experience.”

The court heard how the couple married in Peru seven years before Victoria’s death but that the marriage was ‘not recognised over here’.

As well as manslaughter, Marten and Gordon, of no fixed address, are also accused of four other offences: cruelty to their baby; concealment of the baby’s birth; causing or allowing her death; and perverting the course of justice by concealing the body. They deny all charges.

The trial, taking place at the Old Bailey, continues.

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