Faces of criminals locked up in Greater Manchester this week
An abusive husband who shaved part of his wife's head before throwing her beloved cat out of a window and a thug who kicked his heavily pregnant wife in the stomach and threatened to kill her are two of the criminals who have been locked up in our region this week. Jail sentences are handed out to the worst offenders each week and Manchester Evening News reporters are in court to cover the most serious cases. This week, those in the dock also included a paedophile truck driver who molested two young girls - including a six year old - after offering to play board games with them.
: Woman dies after Land Rover ploughs into pedestrians before 'man chased down' Here are some of the criminals who were sentenced to jail time in Manchester so far this April.
Drunk mum DRAGGED policewoman along the road with her car as she tried to avoid arrest
A drunken mum dragged a policewoman along the road with her car as she tried to dodge being arrested - in a case with chilling echoes of PC Andrew Harper's killing. Drink driver Chantelle Owen, from Rochdale, pulled PC Amy Greenwood along the street for 130 feet as she tried to stop the 36-year-old speeding away in her car. Minshull Street Crown Court heard that the officer lost her footing and was dragged along the road by her knees - before she managed to haul herself up on her feet and grab the steering wheel.
Single mum-of-three Owen eventually stopped, but refused to get out of the BMW 120D M Sport and had to be forcibly removed. The incident occurred on December 20 last year after PC Greenwood was called to an address in Bury following reports Owen was having an argument with her boyfriend.Chantelle Owen, a drunken mother who dragged a policewoman along the road with her car as she tried to dodge being arrested for drink-driving, has been jailed (Image: Chantelle Owen/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)
Tests showed Owen had 68 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, almost twice the legal limit of 35mg. She was bailed to attend court, but was arrested again at 7am on January 22 this year when police were called to a McDonalds drive thru in Bury, where she was fighting with her boyfriend.
Officers discovered she had driven the car to the burger bar with tests showing she had 53mg of alcohol in her system. She was baled again after claiming she had been assaulted by her partner, but was pulled over for a third time at 4.25am on March 2 when a police patrol spotted her speeding.
It emerged she had drunk a bottle of vodka with tests showing she had 87mg of alcohol in her breath - more than twice the drink drive limit. A quantity of cocaine was found in the central console of the BMW.
Owen, of Molesworth Street, admitted three charges of drink driving, dangerous driving, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and a separate charge of failing to surrender to police. The court heard she admitted drinking heavily in the run to all the incidents but denied knowledge of the cocaine. She had been in custody at Styal women's prison since her third arrest.
Sending Owen to prison for eight months, the judge rejected pleas to impose a suspended sentence. Owen was also banned from driving for three years and will have to sit an extended re-test. She will serve four months before being freed on licence.
Terrifying moment shotgun-wielding thug opens fire on rivals just yards from playing childrenVideo LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to play Tap to playThe video will auto-play soon8Cancel
A shotgun-wielding thug who opened fire on a rival group just yards from playing children has been jailed.
Mobile phone footage captured Liam Whitbread firing a homemade shotgun in the middle of Redbank playing fields in Radcliffe. A judge described the 24-year-old as 'dangerous' as he sentenced him to six years behind bars on Friday (April 1). Minshull Street Crown Court heard how Whitbread carried the makeshift firearm - known as a 'slamgun' - onto the field under a towel on a sunny Bank Holiday afternoon on May 30, 2020.
Footage released by police shows the shocking moment he then fired the gun towards a rival group as families sunbathed and children played nearby on the field.Liam Whitbread, 24, has been jailed for six years (Image: GMP)
No one was injured, but police say it caused "distress and panic" for many of those present. After receiving several calls from members of the public, detectives launched an investigation to find the gunman. Whitbread, of Grosvenor Street, Radcliffe, has now been jailed for six years after a jury convicted him of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
'Predatory' truck driver molested girls as young as six years old
A paedophile branded 'predatory' by a judge has been jailed for three years.
Britnee Aitken, 47, was arrested and charged after two girls came forward to claim they were molested 10 years ago. One of the victims, then aged six, said Aitken, from Rochdale, had targeted the youngsters under the guise of offering to play board games with them. Aitken denied three charges of sexual assault and one of indecent exposure, but was convicted by a jury after a trial at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court, and was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life.Britnee Aitken has been jailed (Image: Cavendish Press)
The offences occurred after Aitken went public about a bizarre legal battle over a GBP30 fine imposed by police in 2008 for playing a Riverdance CD too loudly in a car.
Aitken had refused to pay the fine and in the months that followed, was pestered by demand letters and received six visits from bailiffs. The debt eventually rose to GBP270 because of administration costs.
The court heard the offences against the girls occurred between July and September 2012, when they visited Aitken's home to play games. Aitken identified as male at the time.
Aitken, who was charged in 2020, had no previous convictions, the court heard, but had accepted a caution in 2012 for having indecent pictures on a phone - an illicit 'upskirt' video of a girl aged seven. Aitken was also ordered to abide by the terms of a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order. One term prevents 'loitering' near schools or children's play areas.
Drug dealer caught with terrifying arsenal of weapons under his PILLOW and after dropping cannabis bag
A drug dealer was stopped and found with an array of drugs - but officers found an even more disturbing collection of weapons at his house.
Ewen Campbell, 42, was pulled over and searched on Booth Street, in the city centre, in March this year, with officers reporting smelling a strong smell of cannabis coming from inside the car. Police found a plastic pot containing a number of bags of white powder and a sum of cash in his pocket. He was seen to have a 'bulge' in his trousers, which upon further inspection was found to be another bag of cannabis, Manchester Crown Court heard.
However, it was the terrifying collection of weapons recovered following a search of his bedroom in Rusholme which caused concern. "There were 9mm firing rounds, a black handed kitchen knife under the pillow, an axe also under the pillow and a machete at the side of his bed," prosecutor Antony Longworth said.
There was a knife which incorporated a knuckle duster underneath his bed too. This is prohibited from being in possession in a private place." Campbell was jailed for 32 months, of which he will serve half in prison before serving the rest on licence, after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis, possession with intent to supply cocaine, possession of an offensive weapon in a private place and possession of criminal property.
'Slash his face up!' - Joiner stabs young dad in head and neck during 'frenzied attack' in pub beer gardenLouis Edwards was jailed for GBH (Image: Louis Edwards/ Cavendish Press ()
A dad-of-one has been left scarred for life following a frenzied knife attack in a pub beer garden. Arron Kenny, 25, was repeatedly stabbed in the neck and head with a Stanley knife after being caught up in a brawl outside the Newall Green pub in Wythenshawe.
The assistant shop manager suffered shocking injuries including a gaping wound to the back of his neck. Witnesses claimed the attacker, self-employed joiner Louis Edwards, 28, had been waving the knife about in the minutes before the stabbing - telling friends: "If you want to make a point cut his f****** face off. Slash his face up!''
The fight followed a ''minor disagreement'' between Mr Kenny's brother and a friend of Edwards at the pub in Greenbrow Road.
The victim was left with five stab wounds. Edwards - a father-of-one of Blackcarr Road, Wythenshawe - was arrested three days later but made no comment in interview. He was picked out as the attacker in an identity parade by AJ and his brother.
At Manchester Crown Court, Edwards, who had no previous convictions, was jailed for six years and ten months after admitting wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
One-man crimewave who's clocked up 186 offencesMichael Conway-Williams (Image: Manchester Evening News)
A career criminal once branded the 'scourge' of Manchester has been jailed after beating up and robbing a tourist just hours after he arrived in the city. Drug addict Michael Conway-Williams, 43, has been convicted of 186 crimes during his 20 years of offending and has been in out and out of jail so much a judge once called him ''the poster boy for the revolving door prisoner". He has now been locked up again after breaking the nose of his victim from London as he walked back to his hotel after a night out with friends.
He was targeted for his Reiss crossbody bag with wallet, iPhone X1, GBP175 in cash and other personal items worth a total of GBP1,400.
As well as being left bloodied and bruised, he has been left so terrified following the attack he is scared to go out and has refused to set foot in Manchester again. Conway-Williams, from Crumpsall, north Manchester, was arrested later but then burgled a tea shop just a fortnight after being given a ten-week suspended jail sentence for stealing clothing from a car. At Manchester Crown Court Conway-Williams, of no fixed address, was jailed for another three-and-a-half years after he admitted robbery and burglary.
Police will now apply for a Criminal Behaviour Order which is expected to ban him from his regular haunts and restrict his movements following his release.
Award-winning army veteran helped gangsters flood streets with cocaineLeft to right: Liam McGrath, Jake Meade and Dale Reid (Image: GMP)
An army veteran who won medals for his service was among three men locked up for their part in a huge cocaine dealing operation foiled by cops who hacked into their Encrochat messages. The men were involved in discussions over the buying, selling and movement of at least 13 kilos of the drug, valued at between GBP30,000 and GBP33,000-a-kilo, during a seven-week period during the first Covid lockdown. They also discussed criminal cash assets of over GBP1.1million police said. The operation was 'orchestrated' jointly by Jake Meade, 33, and Dale Reid, 31, who had previously served prison terms for dealing.
However, a court heard their 'trusted courier and storeman' was Liam McGrath, 34, who served in the military for nine years, rising to the rank of Corporal.
He earned the Queen's Jubilee Medal and the Iraq Medal during his near-decade of service. However post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) triggered by his dad's suicide and his experiences in the field saw him turn to drug use and he became involved in a bid to pay off his debts, a judge was told. Meade, from north Manchester, and Reid, from Middleton, were jailed for almost 14 and a half years with McGrath, from Oldham, being handed a seven-year sentence at Manchester Crown Court on Monday (4 April).
Dealer caught after taking cops on dangerous chase from Tesco car park - months later, he was at it againZach Trott (Image: GMP)
A drug dealer was caught driving the wrong way round a roundabout - months later he was caught driving dangerously AGAIN.
Zach Trott, 26, was spotted in a silver Mercedes, which police already had suspicions was being used for drug dealing. They followed the car into the Tesco car park in Salford on March 28 last year, activated their blues and twos and radioed for backup in an attempt to stop him. However, he managed to drive through some bollards and temporarily escape.
Trott, of Salford, drove round two roundabouts in the wrong direction and into oncoming traffic, he got up to speeds of 70 miles-per-hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone and went through a series of red lights, Manchester Crown Court heard.
The high speed pursuit ended on Bolton Road when Trott drove onto the wrong side of the road before getting out of the car and running away. There was a short chase before he was apprehended. He was caught with a rucksack which contained 300 grams of cannabis split up into smaller deals, estimated to be worth around GBP3,400.
He was also found with GBP500 in cash and a burner phone, prosecutor Juliet Berry said. Trott, of Ellesmere Street, was jailed for two years and four months after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply class B drugs, possession of criminal property and dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for five years and 14 months.
Pregnant woman brutally beaten after she was 'imprisoned' in house for MONTHS with violent thugAshley Geraghty (Image: GMP)
A serial domestic abuser has been jailed after kicking his heavily pregnant girlfriend to the stomach before dragging her around the house by her hair.
Months later Ashley Geraghty, 35, attacked her again, pinning her down onto the bed and strangling her. The pair had been in a relationship for some time before breaking up after Geraghty was unfaithful, but they continued seeing each other on and off. However, when the woman became pregnant in June 2017, Geraghty's behaviour started to change.
He began drinking more and using drugs but was put on an electronic tag to live and sleep at her address in Irlam following a conviction of domestic violence against a previous partner. A judge said it meant she was effectively 'imprisoned' with him and, although she was aware of the conviction, Geraghty had told her it was after a fight with a man, Manchester Crown Court heard. Due to the tag being in place, he was unable to leave the house between certain times, which 'exacerbated' things, prosecutor Victoria Lewis said.
In December 2017, things came to a head when she confronted him about his drinking. She was eight months pregnant at the time.
"This led to an argument and she asked him to leave. He refused to do so because of his bail condition and she said she'd call the police.
He then shouted: "If you ring the police, I will kill you." Ms Lewis said. "She was afraid he could do so. At that stage, he pushed her to the floor and kicked her four times to the stomach.
She told him to stop as she was eight months pregnant and she felt it could hurt the baby. "He then grabbed her by the hair and dragged her ten metres from the front room, through to the bathroom and the kitchen, then he punched her and caused a black eye." Geraghty, of Wordsworth Avenue, Leigh, was jailed for four years and three months and banned from contacting the woman in any way for 10 years under the terms of a restraining order.
Controlling husband shaved wife's head "for a joke" and threw her cat out a window in 'catalogue of cruelty'David Andrew Rees (Image: GMP)
An abusive husband who subjected his wife to a 'catalogue of cruelty' has been jailed for more than two years.
David Andrew Rees, 52, pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour in an intimate or family relationship and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court. His reign of terror began from the day they were married 18 years ago when he accused his wife of infidelity after he saw her hugging her cousin to comfort him.
Rees shaved part of his wife's head down to her scalp 'for a joke' and in one incident threw one of her beloved cats out of the window. Brian Berlyne, prosecuting, said Rees, of Cheadle, would accuse her of going to hotels with other men when in fact she was working a night shift. The court was told that Rees was a 'heavy drinker', used amphetamines and would play loud music.
His wife would not complain for fear of making him angry, said Mr Berlyne.
One occasion, he held her by the neck over the bannister of the stairs saying: "I don't want to kill you, I only want to put you in a wheelchair so you will abide by my rules." In December 2021, Rees used clippers to cut a section of her hair to her scalp, leaving a bald patch, and laughed saying it was 'a joke'. Defending, Helen Longworth said Rees 'had a desire to change'. She said: "He is being assisted by the probation service and he apologises for the harm he has done to his wife."
Judge Angela Nield jailed Rees for two years and three months and granted an indefinite restraining order preventing him from contacting his wife directly or indirectly other than through legal teams handling their ongoing divorce proceedings.
Rees will serve half his sentence behind bars and the rest on licence and will be subject to 'stringent constraints' as to where he is allowed to live on release, said the judge.