Former police offer jailed for 16 years after attempted murder in Manchester city centre

28-year-old James Riley pleaded guilty to the offence.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 15th January 2024

A former Lancashire Police officer has been handed a lengthy jail sentence for an attempted murder in Manchester city centre.

James Riley, from Preston in Lancashire, was sentenced to 16 years behind bars at Manchester Crown Court last Friday (12 January) after pleading guilty to the offence.

The sentencing comes after Greater Manchester Police (GMP) initially responded to a call of concern for the welfare of a woman in her 20s, who was found unresponsive at a hotel on Brook Street in Manchester city centre on the night of Thursday 10 November 2022.

She was found by emergency services in a life-threatening condition, and was later transferred to hospital in an induced coma, but thankfully, she regained consciousness the following day – although she has suffered some long-lasting injuries as a result.

28 year-old Riley – who was not on duty at the time of the incident – made a roughly 10-minute call to his family, before anonymously calling for an ambulance and then proceeding to flee the scene, leaving the victim behind.


He tried to evade capture using several different types of transport to hide his tracks and direction of travel, according to GMP.

This was initially done by Riley exiting the hotel in his car, before crashing it nearby, and then running from the scene and attempting to get on a bus, taxi, and hitchhike back home to Lancashire – but a CCTV trawl, which was described as “painstaking”, saw police manage to track Riley’s movements in the aftermath of the incident.


It also went on to further highlight Riley’s instincts and intention on evading capture by retrieving two £250 cash transactions from different ATMs, and then discarding his mobile phone to make sure he couldn’t be digitally tracked.

A “wide-ranging search” for Riley using a number of resources – including specialist operations across three police forces in the North West – followed this, all before he was found and arrested in the early hours of the morning in West Yorkshire.

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Lancashire Police then immediately suspended Riley, and launched an internal investigation into his conduct, alongside the criminal enquiries by GMP – which led to an accelerated misconduct hearing, where he was dismissed from the force without notice.


Riley has also been added to the College of Policing barred list, GMP has confirmed.

Featured Image – GMP