Locked up in August: A Gay Village strangler, a man who tried to smuggle a bomb on to a plane and a dozy crime gang

The Gay Village strangler, a man who tried to smuggle a bomb onto a plane at Manchester Airport, a sex attacker cabbie and a dozy crime gang brought down by a series of screw-ups are among those who were locked up last month.

Here’s our rogues’ gallery for August.

A man who posted indecent pictures of a woman on a dating website



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A man who got drunk and posted indecent pictures of a woman on a dating website in ‘revenge’ was sent to jail.

Jordan Travis, 25, from Bury , put images of the woman on the Plenty of Fish site – taken when she was underage and in a relationship with someone – along with her contact details.

He told her: “If you want attention from men other than me, you can have it.”

The victim was bombarded with hundreds of unwanted texts from men who saw the pictures.

Travis pleaded guilty to disclosing private sexual films and photographs with the intent to cause upset and distress.

He was jailed for six months and banned from contacting the woman for three years under the terms of a restraining order.

Man posted underage indecent pictures of woman on Plenty Of Fish after getting drunk

Three men found with a cannabis farm, deadly haul of bullets and a gun



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Police uncovered a deadly weapons trove – including a gun, silencer and dozens of bullets – after smashing their way into a secret cannabis farm.

Three men were jailed over a drugs conspiracy in the heart of Salford – masterminded by a man who came to the UK to “improve his lifestyle” but is now serving a 23-year jail sentence.

Anti-gang police found a cannabis farm and a large stash of amphetamine when they executed a warrant at a terraced house in Knutsford Street, Seedley, Salford.

But they were astonished to discover a 9mm Russian-made Baikal self-loading pistol, an adapted silencer, and 35 bullets – all hidden under a towel on the kitchen table.



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At Manchester Crown Court, Grzegorz Marciniak, 39, of Deacons Drive, Salford, pleaded guilty to three firearms offences, two counts of conspiracy to supply class B drugs, cannabis and amphetamine.

Marciniak was jailed for 23 years after admitting possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life; possession of ammunition without a certificate, and possession of a prohibited weapon.

At the same time, his associate, Rajfar Marcin, 36, of Knutsford Street, Salford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis and amphetamine. He sentenced to five years and four months in prison.

A third man, Pawel Strazalkowski, 36, also pleaded guilty to possession of a false identity document with improper intention and possession with intent to supply class A drugs. He had previously been sentenced on March 16th to four years six months in prison.

Police raided a cannabis farm and found a deadly haul of bullets and a gun with a homemade silencer

A dad who made hoax bomb threats to his daughter’s primary school


Credits: Manchester Evening News
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Manchester Evening News

A dad who made hoax bomb threats to his daughter’s school ‘in order to spend more time with her’ was jailed for 14 months.

Gary Barnes, 25, sparked fears of a Dunblane-style massacre after calling police and claiming ‘devices’ had been left at Tonacliffe Primary School in Whitworth, near Rochdale , on December 9 last year.

More than 320 students and 45 staff members had to be evacuated as officers raced to the primary to carry out a search.

Barnes then made a second hoax bomb call four days later, followed by a third call to staff this time saying he was coming to collect his daughter and was “armed with a gun”.

Father-of-two Barnes, of Westgate, Whitworth, had previously pleaded guilty at Burnley Magistrates’ Court to four counts making bomb threats and making threatening calls.

Dad jailed after making hoax bomb threats to daughter’s school so he could ‘spend time with her’

A Gay Village strangler who befriended men, choked them, then robbed them



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A young father strangled five vulnerable homosexual men partying in the Gay Village after befriending them – before stealing their possessions.

Mason Shaw, 21, was jailed for eight years and nine months after his spree of robberies, when he preyed on men who were often drunk and alone in the city centre nightspot.

Shaw said he targeted the men because he was addicted to gambling and had to pay off debts.

He’s also been banned from the Gay Village for life.

Gay Village strangler befriended men, choked them and then robbed them

A man who tried to smuggle a bomb onto a plane


Credits: PA
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PA

Police failed to arrest a man who tried to smuggle a bomb onto a plane at Manchester Airport , leaving him free to catch another flight days later.

Nadeem Muhammad, 43, of Tinline Street, Bury has now been jailed for 18 years after being found guilty of possessing an explosive with intent to endanger life.

But his Manchester Crown Court trial revealed that while airport staff found the device hidden in the lining of his suitcase on January 30, police didn’t arrest him until 13 days later.

The 43-year-old’s motive for trying to take the home-made bomb onto a flight from Manchester to Bergamo, Italy, remains unknown.

Police failed to arrest man who tried to smuggle a bomb onto a plane – leaving him free to catch another flight days later

A convicted murderer who tried to kill again after having sex with victim before slitting his throat as he slept



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A convicted murder tried to kill another victim in ‘almost identical circumstances’ by attacking a man he had recently met and had sex with.

Steven Lund, 63, was sentenced to life in prison in 1980 for murdering a lorry driver, after having become ‘disgusted’ at what had happened between them after the man picked Lund up as a hitchhiker.

Nearly four decades later Lund has again been sentenced to life in prison, after pleading guilty to attempted murder at Manchester Crown Court.

Lund cut Mark Cavanagh’s throat after meeting him through dating app Badoo, while Mr Cavanagh lay in bed in his flat in Ardwick.

Convicted murderer tried to kill again after having sex with victim before slitting his throat as he slept

Lund had been out of prison for about two years when the attack happened, on December 21 last year, but was on licence indefinitely.

Lund, originally from Manchester, most recently of Pett Level Road, Winchelsea Beach, East Sussex, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 27 years.

I was finally ready to date again but the man I met online slashed my neck while I slept

A sex attacker cab driver who assaulted a 14-year-old girl



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A mum whose young daughter was sexually assaulted by a cab driver has spoken out after the youngster’s attacker was locked up.

The 14-year-old girl took a private hire car home from a friend’s house late at night because her mother felt it was safer than public transport or walking.

But pervert cabbie Moshraf Ali began driving slowly on the short journey, made wrong turns and took the longest route to the address.

Ali, 52, from Oldham , started asking the youngster inappropriate sexual questions and shortly before the end of the journey, he leaned over from the driver’s seat and groped her.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison after being convicted of sexual assault and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

I thought my daughter was safer getting a cab – now her driver that night is in jail

A ‘fake German’ found in a pub car park after going on the run


Credits: Home Office
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Home Office

A man living illegally in Manchester – who spent 24 hours on the run after escaping from custody – has been jailed.

Ghanian national Collins Bonney, 44, had been living a fake life as a 26-year-old German.

He used false documents to find work in Manchester , but was caught out following an investigation by the Home Office into possible ID fraud.

When immigration enforcement officers arrived at Bonney’s home on Fairfield Road in Droylsden, Tameside , on July 5, he claimed to be German.

Officers uncovered multiple documents under his fake name, which he had used to try find employment illegally.

Bonney was arrested and handcuffed, but broke free and escaped following a chase.

Police said he was spotted nearby on the canal bridge by Maddison Road.

It’s understood he approached a girl on her way to school and asked her to pull his jumper down over his arms.

She ignored him but he persisted, and when she finally agreed she saw he was wearing handcuffs.

The girl called her father, who alerted police.

Following a search by Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigations officers – with help from GMP – Bonney was found the following day in a pub car park.

He pleaded guilty to fraud, possession of an identity document with improper intention and escaping from custody at Manchester Crown Court – and was sentenced to seven months behind bars.

The ‘fake German’ found in a pub car park after going on the run

A drugs gang found with cocaine, heroin and cannabis worth £3m in their flat



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A couple from Rochdale are among a gang jailed after police found drugs with a street value of £3m in their flat.

Abid Hussain and Mariam Akhtar were found to be concealing heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine in their home on Meadowcroft Lane in August last year.

Taxi driver Yasrab Mahmood, Hussain’s uncle, also from Rochdale , acted as a full-time courier for the pair.

The investigation into the gang initially focused on Ibrar Ashraf, from Blackburn, who was distributing around 1kg of cocaine every week across east Lancashire.

It soon became clear he obtained the drugs from Hussain, who was the main supplier to Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire.

His partner, Akhtar, passed drugs onto Mahmood and received money from him when Hussain was not available.

Several members of the drug gang were jailed at Preston Crown Court.

Hussain, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, two counts of converting criminal property and one count of possessing criminal property. He was jailed for 16 and a half years.

Akhtar, 31, was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, two counts of converting criminal property and one count of possessing criminal property following an earlier trial. She was jailed for three and a half years.

The drugs gang found with cocaine, heroin and cannabis worth £3 MILLION in their flat

A man found hiding two kilograms of cocaine in secret van compartment



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A man who was found hiding £70,000 of cocaine in a secret compartment of his van has been jailed.

Stephen Allen, 37, was arrested in July at Manchester Airport after the drugs were discovered.

Preston Crown Court heard Allen was stopped on the M55 by police as he was travelling towards Blackpool, on February 17 this year.

Police conducted a routine search of his VW Caddy, but after a two hour search nothing was found.

However, a police dog at the scene reacted to indicate drugs were on board so the vehicle was seized.


Credits: Lancashire Police
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Lancashire Police

Officers later searched the van again and discovered a purpose-built void behind the passenger seat, which was concealing 2kg of high purity cocaine.

The drugs were estimated to be worth around £70,000, but could sell for more on the streets.

Allen, of Warrington Road, Prescot, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.

Man found hiding two kilograms of cocaine in secret van compartment

A fraudster who sat other people’s driving tests



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A fraudster who made his living out of sitting other people’s driving tests is back behind bars – and has been told his sentences will just keep getting longer.

Swallaxadin Bashir, who took theory tests in Manchester and at centres up and down the country and charged £500 a time, was jailed for 18 months.

Bashir, who’s been living in Coventry, but whose wife and child are said to be in Manchester, had pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by false representation at DVSA test centres in Manchester and Wigan.

A judge at Warwick Crown Court was told how Bashir had carved out a niche living by posing as learner drivers in order to ace the exams, turning up a test centre with learner’s provisional photo licence and their answers to security questions.

The fraudster who offered to ace your driving theory test for you for £500 has been jailed… again

A driver who smashed into a cottage while trying to hit 100mph


Credits: South Wales Police
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South Wales Police

A speeding driver trying to reach 100mph so his pals could post a clip on Snapchat lost control of his car before smashing into a wall, killing a teenage passenger.

Ricafort Gamboa raced along country roads as he and his friends returned to Greater Manchester from a caravan holiday in Wales.

He took corners on the wrong side of the road while friends inside his car filmed him on their phones near Aberystwyth.

As he approached 100mph his Citroen C3 left the road and smashed into a cottage, smashing through a 16-inch thick stone wall.

Gamboa’s friend, 18-year-old Ernest Pideli, from Stretford , was killed and two other passengers were injured.

Gamboa, 25, from Bolton , admitted causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for four years.

Driver smashed into cottage while trying to hit 100mph for Snapchat video, killing teen friend

A dozy crime gang who left behind a string of clues



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This dozy crime gang was brought down by a catalogue of bungling.

The north Manchester crooks terrorised the public in a crime spree that netted just a few thousand pounds. But the swathe of incriminating clues they left behind has led to lengthy jail sentences at Manchester Crown Court .

The gang’s most active member, Steven Kelly, 25, who’s been jailed for 12 years, always wore the same stripy coat when he committed robberies, which meant he was easy to identify on CCTV.

The dozy crime gang caught after leaving a string of incriminating clues for the police

A homeless man who robbed a couple who took pity on him



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A homeless man who was befriended by an elderly couple repaid their kindness by stealing their holiday cash.

Pensioners Jim and Eileen Wright were shopping in Bolton in September last year when they came across Terence Hargreaves begging on Bradshawgate.

Concerned about him, they invited him to their home in Halliwell for a meal.

The Wrights were planning a holiday to Portugal and, in preparation, had £1,000 in an envelope in their living room.

But Judge Elliot Knopf was told how, while Mrs Wright was out and her husband was upstairs, Hargreaves sneaked in through an unlocked door.

A neighbour reported seeing Hargreaves peering over a fence and, following arrest he admitted he had burgled the house.

Judge Elliot Knopf sentenced him to six months in prison for the burglary, consecutive to the robbery sentence he is already serving.

An elderly couple took pity on this homeless man – then he robbed them of their last holiday together

Drug dealers jailed after police uncovered stash of cocaine



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Two men were jailed after police uncovered a haul of cocaine worth nearly £2m.

James Henderson-Burke, 29, and Daniel Shalier, 26, both admitted possession of class A drugs after police discovered the drugs at a property on Barton Lane in Eccles, Salford .

Officers executed a raid on February 24 as part of an ongoing investigation into drug dealing in the area.

More than 5kg of cocaine – with an estimated street value of £1.8m – was found.

They were both handed prison sentences following a sentencing hearing at Manchester Crown Court .

Henderson Burke, of Kirtley Avenue, Eccles , was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.

Shailer, of Maranatha Court, of Barton Road, Eccles, was sentenced to five years and three months.

Drug dealers jailed after police uncover stash of cocaine worth nearly £2m

A legal clerk who bought two houses, a boat, cars and furniture using money stolen from solicitors



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A legal clerk stole thousands of pounds from her employer to fund lavish purchases, including deposits on two houses, cars and even a boat.

Rachel Swettenham also used the money to pay off credit cards after more than £300,000 was siphoned out of the Stockport solicitors firm where she had worked for more than 30 years.

She’s now been handed a four year jail sentence.

She directly transferred the money from the company to her bank account over a two year period, and also paid money into her husband Roger Swettenham’s account, as well as into other accounts.

An investigation was launched after a review of her conduct at the firm, and her home was consequently searched by her employers, who were granted a civil search order.

She stole the money between 2012 and 2014, but all the clients she swindled have since been refunded by the firm.

The 54-year-old, of Sefton Terrace, Deganwy, Conwy was sentenced to four years in prison at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position at an earlier hearing.

Roger Swettenham, 55, of Penlan, Llandudno, Conwy was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years at the same court, and ordered to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work after pleading guilty to money laundering at an earlier hearing.

Legal clerk bought two houses, a boat, cars and furniture using money stolen from solicitors

A drug dealer jailed after police seized £45,000 worth of Spice



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A ‘prolific’ Spice dealer has been jailed after one of Greater Manchester’s biggest-ever seizures of the notorious zombie drug.

Police uncovered more than £45,000 worth of Spice during a raid on Anthony Hunt’s house in Moston .

Officers also seized cannabis with a street value of £2,500 and £8,000 worth of amphetamine.

It came after police attended the scene of a crash on the M6 close to Cannock in Staffordshire on November 27, last year, and found a Ford Transit van abandoned on the embankment.

A search of the van found a quantity of drugs and two mobile phones inside.

The following day O’Brien was stopped by police and found to be in possession of £7,500 worth of heroin and cocaine and a substantial amount of cash.

In February 2017, police raided Hunt’s home on Rudston Avenue and discovered the huge stash of drugs.

Hunt, 32, was jailed for seven years and nine months after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply heroin, cocaine, Spice and cannabis.

Drug dealer jailed after police seize £45,000 worth of Spice

A fraudster who set up fake conservatory companies and scammed customers


Credits: GMP
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: GMP

GMP

A man who set up fake conservatory companies to scam customers out of more than £175,000 has been jailed.

James Simpson Taylor, of Ivy Green Drive in Oldham , took payments for roofing work that was never carried out.

After taking deposits of between £1,000 and £2,000 the company stopped trading. Then Taylor set up a fresh company and repeated the process four times.

When customers tried to contact him, the 57-year-old changed his phone number and used different names to avoid them.

He also fobbed them off by lying that his mother had died of cancer or his partner was in a coma.

Taylor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, five counts of fraudulent trading and making an article for use in fraud.

He was jailed for 36 months at Minshull Street Crown Court.

Fraudster who set up fake conservatory companies and scammed customers out of £175k is jailed

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