JAILED: ‘Selfish’ youths leave man to drown in Manchester’s gay village during night of robbery and violence

By Danielle Wainwright

A gang of youths were jailed on Friday following the death of a 40-year-old Salford man who drowned in Manchester’s Gay Village.

Paul Creedy, 20, of Heatcote Road, Gorton, Kieron Murray, 22, of Eastern Bypass, Openshaw, Jack Smith, 19, of Openshaw, Leah Garner, 21, of Moston and a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named all pleaded guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy to rob.

Police discovered the body of Simon Brass, 40, on Saturday June 9 on Canal Street who drowned after the group pushed him into the canal shouting ‘I can’t swim’.

After further investigations, the group were found to have committed several crimes leading up to Mr Brass’ death.

Detective Sergeant Derek Houston from the Major Incident Team said: “Mr Brass’ life was tragically cut short when this group decided he was the perfect target for a robbery.

“Not at one point did they consider his safety having failed to steal anything from him they pushed him into the canal and the actions they took were reckless.

“Mr Brass’ family have been left with a gap in their lives that will never be filled. They will have to live with the fact that their time together was cut drastically short thanks to the selfish act of five callous individuals.”

Several acts of robberies and assaults were reported to police beginning when a 54-year-old man came across a fight at the canal towpath near Piccadilly at around 1.10am on June 5.

He shouted at them to stop but the group turned on him and pushed him into the canal, attacked him further and left him unconscious.

A short time later at around 2.35am, a 34-year-old man was robbed of his phone near Minshull street and an officer who found the man activated the Find My iPhone app which led police to a takeaway on Bloom Street where Creedy, Murray and the 15-year-old were arrested.

Creedy and Murray were sentenced to 10 years with an extended licence of three years, Smith to nine years, Garner to 10 years and the 15-year-old to three years four months.

Following the arrests, CCTV footage was studied, analysing the movements of Mr Brass and the group along the canal. This led to the arrests of Garner and Smith.

DS Houston added: “This has been a painstaking investigation that involved over 1000 hours of CCTV being studied from over 100 cameras and the smallest of details being analysed.

“I hope Mr Brass’ family and friends can take some comfort knowing that the people responsible for his untimely death are now being punished for what they did.”

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