An armed gang who carried out a series of almost 30 robberies across Greater Manchester and Cheshire and made off with thousands of pounds’ worth of goods have been jailed for over 50 years.
Six criminals from Salford, Trafford and Sale targeted local businesses and homes throughout 2019 – threatening shop staff with machetes, dragging one retail worker across the floor by their ankle, and putting another in a headlock.
A mother and two children were also left “scarred for life” after the gang locked them in a cupboard whilst they stole watches, jewellery and the family’s car during a house raid in Warburton.
A shocking 29 armed robberies were committed between May and November 2019.
Jack Yarwood from Salford, Michael Burke from Trafford, Stuart Watson from Trafford, Daniel Adamson from Sale and Michael Kedie from Sale were all jailed at Manchester Crown Square this week (June 29) – with the combined sentences totalling more than half a century.
The first offence took place at a Co-Op in Cheshire at around 9.45pm on 12 May 2019 where three masked men – Kedie, Yarwood and Burke – entered the store and threatened staff with a machete and a hammer and stole cash from a safe.
The gang continued to target retail stores over the next few months, including several Co-Ops in Stretford, Wythenshawe, Lymm, Bowden, Swinton and Cheadle Hulme, as well as a McColls in Bramhall, Poundland in Urmston, Starbucks in Trafford Park, Sainsbury’s in Altrincham and Asda Petrol Station in Sale.
In October 2019, following a Co-op raid on Knutsford Road in Warrington, the gang fled in a Ford Focus and were pursued by police. Two of the men exited the vehicle armed with machetes and ran towards the officer, before getting back into the Focus and driving off – eventually abandoning the car in the Racecourse Estate in Sale.
Officers found cigarettes, cash and other items from the robbery left inside the Focus.
GMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Group division pieced the attacks together through phone and CCTV analysis, surveillance and the support of a large number of witnesses in the case.
Detective Sergeant Richard Castley, from GMP’s SOCG, said: “This was a series of terrifying incidents that saw staff and members of the public in their own homes assaulted and scared for their lives – some of them still haven’t returned to work and some are still recovering from their ordeal.
“The members of the public targeted by these offenders were simply doing their job to serve the public in their local shop or were in their home addresses when they were confronted with this masked gang armed with weapons.
“Their robbery spree days are now over after our thorough investigation and this sends out a message – no matter how organised and sophisticated a group is – we will track offenders down and bring them to justice.”
‘Sad news’ – the world’s only Vagina Museum has been forced to close
There’s a museum for just about everything these days (we all remember trips to the Stockport Hat Works museum) – but the world’s only space dedicated to vaginas has been forced to close again.
The world-first Vagina Museum announced this week that it’s had to vacate its premises and has once again been left ‘homeless’.
The museum, which welcomed 40,000 visitors in the 10 months it was open, was founded to raise awareness of the gynaecological anatomy and health, erase stigma, and act as a forum for feminism.
Inside, visitors could browse everything from educational materials to art pieces inspired by vaginas and vulvas – including giant tampons decorated in red sequins.
The Vagina Museum said it was ‘disappointed’ that it has been asked to leave its space, adding that it will continue to operate digitally until it finds a new base.
They wrote in a heartfelt statement on social media that they were ‘incredibly proud’ of the museum’s achievements.
Fans of the space queued down the street for its final few days in Bethnal Green, before its eventual closure on Wednesday 1 February.
Their statement said: “Sad news. We’ve received notice to vacate our premises at Bethnal Green by the end of this week. As a property guardianship, we’ve always been aware that we may be asked to leave with very short notice. We’re disappointed that it has come so soon.
“@Enter_theVenue the creative hub with whom we share our space, have also been asked to leave. The Vagina Museum will continue to operate in the digital world as we search for a new home.”
The message continued: “We’re sad about this development, but incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the ten months we’ve been at our Bethnal Green premises. We’ve welcomed more than 40,000 visitors through our doors, and received so much love and positive feedback.
“In our time at Bethnal Green, we’ve once again demonstrated just how much the world needs and wants a Vagina Museum.
“Times are, once again, uncertain for us, but we’ve been through this before and risen stronger than ever. With a community like you supporting us, we know we can get through this too.
“We’re actively searching for a new home, and if you know of any vacant spaces (or have one yourself!) please don’t hesitate to reach out. In our home in Bethnal Green, we and ENTER demonstrated that we can transform an empty, unused building into a thriving heart of a community.
“If you don’t have a building, you can still help! Please consider making a donation; a donation of any size makes a huge difference and will help us to weather this storm, just as we’ve weathered storms before.”
The Vagina Museum concluded its thread with: “We’ve made it through a pandemic and a period of temporary homelessness before. With you, together, we can make it through this too.”
Gary Neville addresses ‘clumsy like’ on Tweet about Mason Greenwood ￼
Gary Neville has said that his liking of a tweet about Mason Greenwood has been ‘misinterpreted’.
The former Manchester United legend and football pundit set off a Twitter storm last night after he ‘liked’ two tweets by Nazir Afzal, and briefly retweeted one.
The tweets in question said that Greenwood was an ‘innocent man’ and added that ‘you are innocent until PROVEN guilty’.
Mason Greenwood had all criminal charges against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
He had faced allegations of rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault, all against the same woman.
The CPS said that Greenwood case had been stopped because of ‘the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light’, adding that there was no longer a ‘realistic prospect of conviction’.
Several people noticed that Neville had liked a tweet about Greenwood’s ‘innocence’ and quickly challenged him on it.
One person shared a screenshot and wrote: “You have a massive platform and you’re liking bulls**t like this just because the monster plays for a team you support. you’re disgusting @GNev2.”
He posted: “I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. ( the former director of public prosecutions ).
“This like is being misinterpreted. It was a clumsy like as I obviously condemn any violence against women.”
Greenwood issued a short statement yesterday, writing: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”
Featured image: Instagram, @garyneville2 / publicity picture