Sadness, shock and worry after tragedy on a street where the emergency services are rarely a surprise


People living near the apartments in Gorse Bank are used to seeing emergency services through their windows.

Sirens and blue flashing lights barely raise an eyebrow.

So, when police, firefighters and paramedics arrived yesterday afternoon, for some residents there was a weary sadness – but not surprise.

The area has been plagued by drug-related issues and anti-social behaviour.

But as Wednesday afternoon turned into evening, it became clear this was something different.

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And as the number of police grew and the cordon tape came out to surround a set of apartments, it soon became clear that what had happened was out of the ordinary.

The tragic death of a young woman has today rocked the community.

A large cordon remains in place outside a set of apartments this evening, after a 36-year-old lost her life.

She had been rushed to hospital from a first floor flat on Wednesday afternoon, but later died.

Police have now launched a murder investigation.

Three men, aged 32, 52 and 61, have since been arrested on suspicion of rape and murder.

People living nearby told the Manchester Evening News they were initially unsurprised at the sight of the police.

A police cordon was erected outside a block of apartments

One person told the MEN : “I was in a meeting, looked outside my window and saw two ambulances and fire trucks.

“It was around two hours later when I saw loads of police vans arrive and cordon off the apartments.

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“They were there all last night and today, everyone was speculating and wondering what had gone on as it looked serious, but nobody really knew what had happened. It has shocked us all.

“It is fairly quiet around here usually, but those flats do attract quite a lot of antisocial behavior and the police are called there quite often.

“To hear what has happened is just so shocking.”

Another, living across the street, added: “We saw ambulances park up at around 4 in the afternoon, but didn’t think anything of it at the time.

“When my husband came home from work, I looked out the window and saw all the police going in and out of the house.

“The police are here every other week and there is something going on over there and problems, so we weren’t surprised at first.

“When we heard a woman had died we just couldn’t believe it. It’s really is so sad when it happens so close to home.”

Three men have been arrested on Gorse Bank and Rutland Drive on suspicion of murder and rape

A woman out walking her dog nearby said: “It is quite a close neighborhood but there are always police called up there.

“We know there are lots of problems with drugs, and we always see little bags or needles out when we go for a walk. It is not becoming a nice place to live.”

Police say they were called to a hospital at 6.15pm last night (February 2) to reports that the 36-year-old woman had died.

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A murder investigation was launched and three men were later arrested on suspicion of rape and murder from addresses on Gorse Bank and Rutland Avenue.

Detectives are continuing to follow up a number of lines of inquiry to understand the circumstances around her tragic death.

A cordon has been in place for more than 24 hours at the apartments on Gorse Bank, as police were seen investigating within the apartment.

Forensics were also seen going in and out of a property on Rutland Drive this evening as evidence continued to be gathered.

Forensics outside a property on Rutland Drive

A post-mortem is thought to have been carried out today to determine her cause of death.

Police have increased patrols in the area and are appealing for more information.

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Detective Superintendent Kate Atton, of Bury CID, said: “I have no doubt that the community are shocked and are worried to hear the news about this incident but I would like to reassure them that we have a dedicated team of detectives investigating and following up various lines of inquiry to establish the circumstances around this lady’s death.

“High visibility patrols and local officers will be in the area and available to speak to anyone concerned and we will release more information as soon as we are able to.

“We want to give the lady’s family the answers they deserve as they are understandably devastated at the loss and our thoughts remain with them. We’d ask anyone with information to come forward.

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“The team are following up inquiries and have been overnight since the report came into us but anyone who may have any information should contact us – even the smallest bit of information could prove vital.”

GMP says the incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct in line with normal procedure due to previous police contact.

Anyone with information can report it online or by using our LiveChat service at www.gmp.police.uk. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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