A round-up of news from around the North West
Detectives are investigating three more major child sex grooming cases in Greater Manchester.
All of the new investigations involve a group of men allegedly raping or sexually abusing a string of teenage girls.
GMP have also not disclosed the specific location of the gangs.
It follows three other cases where alleged offenders have been either charged or convicted.
In one, nine men were yesterday charged in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of a girl in Rochdale.
The charges relate to child exploitation offences committed separately against one teenage girl between 2008 and 2009.
The men were arrested in May.
They have all been bailed to appear before Bury magistrates later this year.
In April five men were charged with a variety of sex offences against girls from Stockport.
And in May nine men from Rochdale and Oldham were jailed for raping and sexually abusing girls as young as 13 between 2008 and 2010.
Little Ciaran Harman knows how to make an entrance – just like his dad.
The 61lb 15oz tot had to be delivered by his father, Michael, on the bathroom floor after mum Holly suddenly went into labour.
Amazingly, Michael himself made front-page news in 1982 when he was born in the back of an ambulance on the way to the maternity ward.
Ciaran’s uncle Andrew – Michael’s older brother – was also a home birth after mum Linda went into labour on the same day that paramedics went on strike.
First-time mum Holly, 27, was at the couple’s home on Mill Lane, Denton, when she started to experience mild pain – which she later realised must have been contractions.
As the pain got worse she rang Michael, who works as an accountant in Manchester, to say she might have to go to the hospital. She told him to come home when he could.
He walked through the door in the nick of time, just as Holly’s waters broke, and delivered Ciaran minutes later at 4.39pm on Friday.
ONE of Britain’s oldest umpires has had to retire from the wicket after being stumped by insurers.
Charlie Fenton, 92, has stepped down from the Derbyshire and Cheshire Cricket League after more than 61 years overseeing matches.
But it wasn’t failing eyesight or ill health which stopped Charlie, but the league’s insurance which only covers umpires up to the age of 85.
Charlie, from Hyde, Tameside, said: “I’m so lucky. I’m so fit, I don’t wear glasses, I don’t wear a hearing aid and I can stand for seven hours.
“I’m so happy I’ve had a great career but, of course, I’m disappointed it’s come to an end.”
A teenage yob who taunted police about the fatal shooting of two fellow officers has been ordered to help build a memorial garden in their honour.
The 16-year-old told officers at Ashton-under-Lyne police station that he wished Pcs Fiona Bone - a former student at the University of Central Lancashire - and Nicola Hughes had been stabbed instead of shot ‘to make it more painful’.
He also shouted praise for Dale Cregan, the man charged with the murders of the officers.
The boy had initially been arrested after being found with ‘a cosh-type’ bar and went on to racially abuse an Asian officer.
At Tameside Youth Court, the defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted indecent behaviour at a police station, possessing an offensive weapon and using racially aggravated threatening behaviour.
He was handed an 18-month Youth Rehabilitation Order, with one of the conditions that he help build a memorial garden to Pcs Bone and Hughes, in Hattersley, if time allows.
Sir Alex Ferguson may be famed for his metaphorical hairdryer treatments – but in the City dressing room Roberto Mancini uses a real one.
The United bosses’ infamous outbursts over the years have been dubbed ‘hairdryers’ thanks to the ferocity with which he is said to deliver them and the air that explodes Red as he does so.
But the term has taken on a new meaning at their cross town rivals.
Because the Blues’ manager has had a high-powered Babyliss model installed in the Etihad Stadium inner sanctum.
However, it is unlikely that the stylish Italian uses the device as a weapon to rally his troops.
A Blues source said that the hairdryer is in place to enable him to look at his best on the touchline and on TV after matches in a bid to protect him from the notoriously damp Manchester climate.
A schoolboy was nearly blinded when a firework was launched at him in a terrifying unprovoked attack.
Sufyan Malik was walking to play football when he saw another teen aiming the rocket in his direction.
He turned away – but a second later the firework hit him in the face, skimming his eye and burning through his top.
The 15-year-old has been told by doctors he was lucky not to lose his sight – and he has now urged others to be more careful ahead of Bonfire Night.
The family of Nicola Hughes said the support both the police and public have shown following her death has been ‘overwhelming and heart-warming’.
Her loved ones released a message through Greater Manchester Police to express their’ sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who has supported our family following the death of our beloved Nicola’.
The statement came a day after the family of PC Fiona Bone released a message thanking people for the support shown to them.
Nicola’s mother Susan, father Bryndon, their partners Michael and Natalie, brother Samuel and partner Natalie, and Nicola’s boyfriend Gareth, said in the message: “The level of support shown to us as a family from both the people of Manchester and the public in general has been overwhelming and heart-warming. Greater Manchester Police have been extremely supportive in a sensitive and professional manner during the past four weeks and continue to be. The amount of support shown in public and towards us in private by other police forces from around the country would have made Nicola immensely proud to have been part of this extended family.
“While we continue to grieve for our beautiful daughter and come to terms with our tragic loss, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has paid tributes, sent cards and flowers and messages of support or merely stood at the roadside and demonstrated dignity and respect towards Nicola.
“We continue to draw strength from the immense support demonstrated by you all.”
The hospital at the centre of the saline poisoning probe has been given a clean bill of health by the government’s care watchdog after an inspection.
A team of experts from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport to check on standards of care, including the management of medicines.
The inspection followed a previous visit in March where inspectors examined progress since last summer’s poisoning probe.
During the March inspection, they found evidence of patients being given the wrong medicine, a wrong dose or sometimes none at all – and they said they had seen ‘potentially serious’
mistakes being made because staff did not have the correct information about certain drugs.
Inspectors raised ‘moderate’ concerns, saying that although patients were safe, they believed that they were suffering because standards were not always met.
But now the team has returned and found the hospital was meeting all the expected standards, and they praised staff for their ‘excellent’
A little boy has walked on his own for the first time after kind well-wishers helped pay for a life-changing operation.
Leon Harrison, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and the rare brain condition Dandy Walker syndrome at 18 months old, has suffered excruciating pain and needed daily medication for more than two years.
His family launched a fundraising drive to raise £40,000 to travel to America for an operation that promised him the chance of walking without a frame for the first time – and a life without the agony.
Four-year-old Leon has now taken his first unaided steps after kind-hearted supporters helped his parents, Danielle Harrison, 24, and Carl Wilkinson, 31, from Prestwich, smash their target for the muscle lengthening operation in Missouri.
A woman who said she was raped has received a fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
The woman, who had said she was sexually assaulted in an area of land behind a Heywood pub in the early hours of Monday, has been fined £80 for lying.
A digital masterplan aimed at making Manchester a hi-tech world leader is set to be approved by council chiefs today (WED).
Free wifi across trams and buses, a ‘Manchester app’ and ultrafast broadband in every home will help put the city at the forefront of the digital revolution.
The council’s executive committee was today due to approve a framework that will help deliver the vision by 2025.
When they became friends Pauline Murphy and Ayako Hibino were world’s apart.
But that did not stop them staying in touch for more than five decades.
And now Japanese grandmother Ayako has fulfilled a 50-year promise to meet her pen friend in Manchester for the first time.
Pauline, from Timperley, and Ayako, from Tokyo, first began writing to each other when they were both schoolgirls in 1959.
Manchester Airport is flying high after being named the UK’s airport of the year at a prestigious awards ceremony.
Chief operating officer Andrew Harrison picked up the Airport Operators’ Association award at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London.
Manchester came out on top in the ‘best airport with over six million passengers’ category taking over from Gatwick Airport, which won the award last year.
The airport was recognised for its security and high levels of customer satisfaction as well as its efforts to introduce new routes.
The ceremony featured high-profile speakers including the Secretary of State for transport Patrick McLoughlin MP.
This year the conference focused on how the industry can help the economy to recover by creating new jobs.
A three-hour standoff ended when a suspected burglar climbed down from a sweet shop roof.
Police were called to School Road in Sale town centre at 4am following reports that people had been seen on rooftops. One man was cornered on top of a three-storey Thornton’s shop.
A police helicopter was called to the scene along with 30 officers including a specialist negotiator.
Police eventually persuaded the man to come down from the roof at about 7am.
Three men have been arrested on suspicion of burglary. Police say they are still looking into the incident.
Wannabe Steven Spielbergs will showcase their work at a film festival next week.
The two-day Co-operative Film Festival at the AMC Cinema, Deansgeate, Manchester, will showcase the best independent drama, documentaries and animation from around the country.
Young filmmakers aged 14-19 from Manchester’s Creative Stars project will show Henry: Portrait of a Serial Sketcher.
Their entry was chosen out of 200 short videos submitted by students from across Europe.
There will also be workshops on animation and special effects makeup.
Ambulance bosses are asking parents to follow a few simple safety tips to stop their children being involved in bizarre accidents this Halloween.
Traditionally, emergency 999 calls soar on October 31 – with the service being stretched as paramedics are called out to deal with high numbers of injured patients.
Chiefs at North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) are urging families to stay safe this year to reduce the pressure placed on their crews.
They are asking parents to always accompany youngsters when they go trick or treating and make sure their children wear reflective clothing and carry a glow stick and a torch to make them visible to drivers.
Scientists will take to the streets in Manchester to perform a string of tricks for shoppers this weekend.
Performances will take place along Oxford Road by researchers from the University of Manchester to launch the Manchester Science Festival.
The tricks will include fooling the audience’s taste buds and making music with cooking utensils.
The cream of the region’s Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists lined up to meet the Queen in a glittering event at Buckingham Palace.
Cyclists Sarah Storey and Jason Kenny joined Salford-based Sir Chris Hoy at an event to honour athletes with two or more golds .
Ahead of Manchester’s own Olympic celebrations at the town hall this Friday, they met the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Duchess of Cambridge.
Stockport Paralympian Sarah, now an 11-time champion in swimming and cycling said the event had been ‘incredible’. She added: “To have the Queen throw a reception in our honour makes everything that has happened even more amazing.”
Boltonian Jason, who won two golds at London 2012, admitted to being a little overawed.
He said: “Everything is a bit of a blur. I was a bit nervous.”
Manchester council’s executive was set to approve a planning blueprint for the Airport City Enterprise Zone today.
A framework sets out a vision for the landmark business destination which will be subject to simplified planning rules to help development. The document begins to set out planning guidelines to be used for applications from companies that want to move on to the site, which will span 116 hectares around Manchester Airport.
Airport City will include top level new office space for businesses, hotel and leisure facilities.
Celebrity hairdresser Trevor Sorbie says Manchester College’s new salon is a cut above its rivals.
Sorbie - four times British Hairdresser of the Year – visited the Urban Beauty salon at the Openshaw campus and told students about his own years as an apprentice.
The trainees spent the day raising money for Mr Sorbie’s charity, My New Hair, which helps cancer patients with wig styling.
Miss Manchester Rachel Docker was also there to share her beauty tips.
Lead tutor Catherine Arnold said: “Trevor is a real icon in the hairdressing world – and beyond – and it was great for the staff and students to meet him and chat about what they do.”
Veteran hairdresser Sorbie, 63, said: “The Manchester College is a great supporter of the charity and I’m delighted to be able to join them at their latest fundraising event.”