Off-duty police officer murder investigation sees third arrest

    By Gerald Heneghan

    A third man has been arrested in connection with the murder off an off-duty police officer in Edgeley, Stockport.

    Greater Manchester Police had previously arrested two men, aged 20 and 21, on suspicion of killing 28-year-old PC Gareth Francis.

    The third individual handed himself in to a police station last night (Sunday January 20th) and was arrested on suspicion of murder.

    Commenting on the arrest, Stockport Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Chis Sykes expressed his sympathies for Mr Francis’ family and said the force was doing everything it could to investigate the incident.

    “I would like to reassure them that we have a team of detectives working round-the-clock now to establish exactly what happened this morning,” he said.

    At 1.20am on Sunday, police were alerted to an assault that took place on Castle Street in Edgeley. Emergency services were called to the scene and arrived within minutes, where they discovered PC Francis, who had sustained a serious head injury.

    Despite receiving treatment at the scene, the 28-year-old was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital, where he died shortly after.

    Police have called for witnesses to the incident and anyone with information has been urged to get in touch on 0161 856 9283 or via Crimestoppers.

    PC Francis joined the force in 2007 and served with the South Manchester Division at West Didsbury Police Station.

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