A man has been sentenced after a care home resident in Oldham was sexually assaulted in the early hours of the morning on New Year’s Day.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) received reports of a man carrying a knife at a care home in Oldham at around 1:45am on Sunday 1 January 2023, and when officers attended the scene and searched the premises, they found a young male inside – all before establishing that an 79-year-old woman had been sexually assaulted.
The intruder was immediately arrested at the scene.
The elderly victim was then taken to Saint Marys Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for tests, where she, along with her family, received “immediate support and treatment from specialist officers and support services”, according to GMP.
After extensive CCTV analysis, and forensic analysis of the victim’s and suspects body and clothing, police were able to identify the suspect’s DNA was a match with previously logged DNA on a database.
It was later confirmed that 22-year-old Jake Astley, of no fixed address, had been charged with one count of knowingly trespassing on a premises with intent to commit a sexual offence, one count of committing an offence with the intention of committing a sexual offence, one count of affray, and one count of assault.
Following being charged, Astley was then remanded to await trial – with an additional charge of attempted rape also being added to his indictment.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of attempted rape and assault.
And finally yesterday (31 July), GMP confirmed that Astley was sentenced to 14 years (less 25% credit for plea) equating to 10 ½ years for rape, and serving an 18 month concurrent sentence for assault.
DC Sharon Harper, of GMP’s Oldham District, said has continued to assure members of the public that incidents of this horrific and distressing nature are “extremely rare”, but the sentencing demonstrates “the seriousness with which Greater Manchester Police deal with report of sexual assaults”.
Speaking after the sentencing trial, DC Harper continued: “Astley was able to gain access to the premises, and arrogantly and knowingly walk through the care home to commit crime where vulnerable adults resided whilst he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“He not only put the care home’s residents and staff through danger by threatening them with a knife and chasing them through their place of work or their home with a knife, but he then committed further atrocious crimes to a vulnerable elderly woman.
“He knowingly entered the victim’s bedroom, preyed upon her vulnerabilities, and began to assault and sexually assault her. His crimes are horrific and his lack of remorse for the victim and her welfare is despicable.
“Astley is a dangerous individual who fully deserves the sentence imposed on him.
Have you or do you know someone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault?
GMP encourages victims not to suffer in silence and report it to the police by either calling 101 or 999 in an emergency, reporting information and crimes online using the ‘report’ tool, or alternatively reporting anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
There’s also lots of organisations and agencies available across Greater Manchester that can help and provide support.
The Irish star, who just landed his first UK number one album, wants to make customers ‘feel like a big deal’, apparently.
And seeing as he shot to fame with his viral flashmob stunts, he seems like a good choice to be popping up from behind Amazon lockers as people pick up their online shop.
Cian Ducrot comments: “My flash mob performances are all about spreading joy and music, and I loved helping shoppers feel like a big deal at the Amazon Lockers.”
Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Day sales event, which is taking place on 10 and 11 October 2023, will also see the brand hide hundreds of items in Amazon Lockers around the UK.
Over those two days, Prime members who are collecting shopping will be given the opportunity to pick a code, which will open a locker containing a free item to take away.
Surprise locker locations will be in London, Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle, Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester on 10 and 11 October.
The giveaway runs alongside a Prime member exclusive shopping event, featuring deals on everything Prime members need for Autumn, from making an early start to festive shopping, to stocking up on seasonal essentials.
Council Tax in Manchester could be raised to support the city’s ‘poorest households’
Manchester City Council has laid out plans to potentially raise residents’ Council Tax to help support the “poorest households” in the city.
Councillors are proposing that, under the city’s current Council Tax Support scheme, the amount owed by a household is reduced by up to 100% for pension-age residents with the lowest incomes, and up to 82.5% for working-age residents with the lowest incomes from April 2024 – with the maximum reduction for working-age residents increased by 2.5% to 85%.
This means the maximum that those eligible for support would have to pay is just 15% of the bill, according to Manchester City Council.
At the same time, it’s being proposed that rules allowing reductions to be backdated, in instances where someone “has a good reason not to have claimed sooner”, are extended to allow up to a year’s back payments, rather than up to six months as is currently the case.
With the proposals all laid out, a consultation has been opened and residents living in the Manchester borough are now being asked for their views.
The Council Tax Support scheme currently provides around one fifth of Manchester households with help paying their Council Tax, but it’s estimated that these proposed changes would cost the Council around £770,000 in 2024/25.
This proposed raising of Council Tax also comes after the Council revealed earlier last month that £50 million in funding will go towards upgrading and improving social housing in Manchester over the next two years – with thousands of tenants living in social housing and Council-owned residential complexes across the city and wider borough set to benefit.
Residents in these properties are set receive what is being dubbed “transformational investment” to their homes before 2026.
“We are acutely aware that some residents are really struggling due to cost of living pressures,” admitted Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar, who is the Executive Member for Finance at Manchester City Council on the proposals, “and this is why we’ve already introduced a range of measures to help people access food, advice and support.
“As part of this wider response, we want to go even further to help the poorest households in Manchester with their Council Tax, and that’s what these proposals are all about.
“We’re keen to hear your views on what we’re suggesting before we make a final decision.”