Attacked PC Gareth Francis suffered head injuries

PC Gareth Francis
Image caption PC Gareth Francis was assaulted minutes after getting out of a taxi

A off-duty police officer who was attacked on a night out with friends, died from head injuries, post-mortem tests showed.

Gareth Francis, 28, was walking home from a night out when he was attacked in Castle Street, Edgeley, Stockport, at 01:20 GMT on Sunday.

He was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital with a head injury and died later.

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder. They remain in police custody for questioning.

Detectives have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Sgt Alex Cairns, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "Gareth was the kind of officer who would quietly get on with his job with the minimum of supervision.

"If you needed something doing quietly and efficiently then he was your man.

"He would volunteer to stay late without any complaint and approached everything in work with an outstandingly positive attitude."

PC Francis joined the force in 2007 as part of a South Manchester Division neighbourhood team.

He then moved to Wythenshawe to work as a response officer.

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