Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Fugitive charged with murdering ex

A man wanted by police over the murder of Linzi Ashton has been arrested

A wanted man who handed himself in after nearly a month on the run has been charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Michael Cope, 28, was arrested on Friday night after police were called to an address in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

Mother-of-two Linzi Ashton, 25, was discovered with multiple injuries at her home in Winton, Salford, on June 29.

Miss Ashton made separate complaints to Greater Manchester Police in April and May that Cope had raped and beaten her.

Cope, of no fixed address, is also charged with separate offences of rape and assault, said Greater Manchester Police.

A police spokeswoman said: "Michael Cope, of no fixed abode, has been charged with murder, section 47 assault and rape.

He is due to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court.

Following what was described as an "intense manhunt", Cope was apprehended at a house in Larch Road, Leigh, by armed officers after they acted on intelligence.

Miss Ashton's body was discovered at her home in Westbourne Road. Senior detectives described her injuries, which included pressure to the neck, as "sustained and vicious".

Her two daughters, Daisy, aged two, and Destiny, seven, were not at the address at the time.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk