Robber who fled Salford hospital among four jailed

Ryan McManus, picture from Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Ryan McManus was found hiding in his girlfriend's loft after fleeing custody

A man who escaped police custody while being treated in hospital in Greater Manchester has been jailed, along with three others.

Ryan McManus, 21, fled from Salford Royal Hospital while taking a shower on 19 September. He had been arrested on suspicion of committing robbery.

He and three other men all admitted conspiring to commit robbery, relating to a spate of robberies and burglaries.

They were jailed at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on Friday.

McManus, of Great Cheetham Street West in Salford, who also admitted escaping lawful custody, was jailed for six years and six months.

Patrick Massay, 20, of Stott Lane in Salford, was jailed for eight years. He also admitted possessing a firearm or imitation firearm while committing an offence.

Paul Shields, 21, of Fairy Lane in Cheetham Hill, was jailed for nine years. He also admitted possession of a firearm or imitation firearm while committing an offence.

Ryan Stanley, 20, of Firefly Close in Salford, also admitted possessing a firearm while committing an offence and was jailed for seven years and six months.

McManus' girlfriend, Cherie O'Neill, 20, of Antares Avenue in Salford, had pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. She will be sentenced next month.

Image caption Patrick Massay, Ryan Stanley and Paul Shields all admitted conspiring to commit robbery

Police said the gang had robbed at gunpoint a security guard delivering cash to a post office in Farnworth on 30 July last year.

Officers also stopped Shields, McManus and Stanley preparing to rob a cash delivery van, with a sledgehammer and screwdriver, in Cheetham Hill on 9 September, police said.

The gang also stole cars to use in the robberies, police added.

McManus was being treated in hospital after being injured during his arrest. The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

He was later found hiding in the loft of O'Neill's house.

Det Ch Insp Tony Heslop, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "These criminals clearly thought nothing of the fear, misery and hardship they were causing innocent members of our community by targeting homes and businesses to rob and steal from.

"The work that went into securing enough evidence to ensure they were stopped was long and painstaking but well worth it to know that we have taken this group out of action.

"Today should not just be of satisfaction to us but to every one of the people affected by these crimes - and may the sentences also be a deterrent to others hoping to gain through robbery."

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