Manchester

Manchester shooting murder suspect denies involvement

Jessie James
Image caption Jessie James was shot dead in Moss Side in September 2006

A man arrested on suspicion of the murder of schoolboy Jessie James has told an inquest he was not involved.

The man, whose identity has been protected, also denied making a prison confession about the shooting in south Manchester in September 2006.

Coroner Nigel Meadows, resuming the inquest at Manchester Crown Court three years after it was halted, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

No-one has been charged with Jessie's murder.

During the hearing the witness said he felt sympathy for Jessie's family but did not know who had killed him.

The original inquest was dramatically halted in August 2007 after a new witness came forward and two arrests were made.

Two inmates were subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Special measures to ensure anonymity for witnesses were once again used during the one-day inquest on Wednesday.

Police hope they will reassure any potential other witnesses that any information can be treated confidentially.

Det Ch Supt Jane Antrobus, senior investigating officer with Greater Manchester Police, said: "Jessie's family deserve to see his killers brought before the courts.

"Since Jessie's murder we have seen gang members convicted and given significant sentences thanks to the testimony of protected witnesses.

"Those people who may have previously been reluctant to come forward, can now see what their evidence could do.

"This investigation will not be over until we've caught the people responsible for Jessie's death and held them to account.

"Someone out there holds the key to this investigation and I need that person to come forward."

Mobile heard

The teenager was shot several times as he cycled through Broadfield Park, Moss Side, in the early hours of 9 September 2006.

Earlier, Jessie had been out with a group who were refused entry to an event at the West Indian Centre.

As the group got to the middle of the park, they heard shots and the boys dispersed.

About 90 minutes later, police were called after Jessie's friends re-traced their steps and found his body.

They had been calling his mobile phone as they walked through the park and heard it ringing.

A £50,000 reward is available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Jessie's killers.

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