Manchester

Murder inquiry after attack in Greater Manchester park

Forensic team at Heaton Park
Image caption Forensic teams have been examining the scene throughout the day

A murder investigation is under way after a woman was attacked in a Greater Manchester park.

The victim was found with serious neck injuries, believed to be from stab wounds, in Heaton Park, Prestwich. She died at the scene.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP), who have closed the 640 acre park to the public, said the attack happened near the reservoir.

Detectives have arrested a 40-year-old man on suspicion of murder.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for witnesses.

Detained by workmen

Ch Supt Jon Rush, Bury divisional commander, said: "I want to reassure members of the public we do not believe this was a random attack, however, we would still urge anyone with information to get in touch.

"We want to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything out of the ordinary in the park in the run up to, or after, this incident.

Image caption All entrances to the park have been closed off to the public by police

"No matter how insignificant you think your information might be, it could be vital to us.

"We have a number of scenes in the park where we are carrying out forensic examinations including a car found in a nearby car park."

Shortly after the attack workmen saw a man trying to leave the park who appeared badly injured.

They detained him before alerting nearby police officers, who arrested him on suspicion of murder.

He was taken to hospital for treatment to an injury and remains in a stable condition.

Suspect 'slumped'

Shane Houghton, from Bury, was working on a house close to the Heaton Park reservoir when he witnessed the man's arrest.

"I saw a police helicopter flying about, so we thought they must be looking for somebody," he told the BBC.

"Then I saw a lad on his mobile phone just walking around in circles. From nowhere police just turned up - CID, police cars, dog cars - [and] arrested this lad, sat him on the bonnet."

Mr Houghton said the man was later taken away in an ambulance after "slumping" to the floor.

A large police presence remains at the 640-acre park, which sits between Bury and north Manchester about four miles from Manchester city centre.

Originally private land, it was sold to the council in 1902 and is said to be one of Europe's largest municipal parks.

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