Manchester canal death: Gang sentenced for manslaughter

Creedy, Smith, Murray and Garner
Image caption The victim told his assailants he could not swim

A gang of robbers on a crime spree who left one of their victims to drown when they pushed him into a Manchester canal has been sentenced for manslaughter.

The body of Simon Brass, 40, of Salford was found in water near Canal Street in June last year four days after the gang of five tried to rob him.

The gang, aged between 15 and 22, admitted manslaughter at an earlier hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

Three were jailed for 10 years and two detained at young offenders institutes.

Paul Creedy, 20, of Heathcote Road, Gorton, Kieron Murray, 22, of Eastern Bypass, Openshaw, and Leah Garner, 21, of Moston, were all jailed for 10 years.

'Not wanton hooliganism'

Jack Smith, 19, from Openshaw, received nine years' detention and a 15-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was detained for five years and eight months.

The court heard Mr Brass, who was originally from Newcastle, was heard to twice shout "I can't swim" at his assailants.

Sentencing the gang, Judge Clement Goldstone QC said: "Simon Brass was pushed into the canal when efforts to rob him proved unsuccessful and who you left to die, knowing he could not swim.

"This was not wanton hooliganism or a prank gone wrong. He was the intended victim of a robbery."

The court heard there were four robberies and assaults that took place on the towpath of the Rochdale Canal in the early hours of 5 June last year.

Manchester Crown Court was told the surrounding underpasses were frequented by gay men looking for casual sexual encounters who were preyed upon by robbers, aware their victims would be unlikely to complain to the police.

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