Saturday 25 November 2017

Girl (13) fighting for her life in hospital was 'stabbed protecting her father'

A well-wisher hands over some flowers to a police officer at the scene of a stabbing in Moston, Manchester
A well-wisher hands over some flowers to a police officer at the scene of a stabbing in Moston, Manchester
Police forensic officers working at the scene of a stabbing in Moston, Manchester
A police forensic officer places a card into some flowers at the scene of a stabbing in Moston, Manchester

Pat Hurst and Paul Keaveny

A teenage girl fighting for her life in hospital may have been hurt defending her father during a fatal knife attack.

The 13-year-old, named locally as Ayesha Jackson, was critically injured as her father Robert Jackson, 41, was stabbed at his home in Moston, north Manchester, at around 10.20pm last night.

 

The 34-year-old man who is understood to have launched the knife attack, named locally as Darren Gasper, also died of stab injuries after hijacking a car and driving it into the side of a pub at about 1am today in nearby Harpurhey.

 

Mr Jackson, a former carpet fitter and DJ who is said to have known Bez from the Happy Mondays, has been described as a popular and quiet man without any enemies on the housing estate where he had lived for more than 20 years.

 

According to locals his daughter, his only child, who was only visiting the Delta Walk address and lives elsewhere with her mother, may have been injured trying to protect her father.

 

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) detectives are not understood to be looking for anybody else in connection with the attacks.

 

Mr Jackson was found dead by officers at his home and his daughter was taken to hospital, where she is in a critical condition with stab wounds.

 

Police were alerted at about 1am after a man had threatened a car owner with a knife and stolen the vehicle in Watfield Walk in Harpurhey, about half a mile from the scene of the original attack.

 

A short time later the vehicle was seen near Rochdale Road by police and when officers approached, the suspect drove the car into the side of the Alliance pub.

 

The driver was taken to hospital suffering from a stab wound and injuries consistent with a collision but died a short time later. No one else was injured in the smash.

 

Gasper, the father of a boy aged five or six, was well known to police, locals said.

 

A man who said he was friends with both dead men said: "Jacko used to do a bit of DJ-ing, he knew Bez from Happy Mondays, they are both from round here, north Manchester.

 

"He was a bit of a hippy, into his music, liked a smoke.

 

"Darren was more one of the boys round here. His mum lives in Newton Heath. He'd been in jail. He was a tough kid, a big lad.

 

"I heard Ayesha was upstairs when it started and came down to protect her dad.

 

"They both had kids, it's sad what this leaves behind for them."

 

An elderly neighbour of Mr Jackson said: "He used to go the shop for me. He was a lovely man, very quiet. He didn't have any enemies."

 

Mr Jackson's mother lives nearby and was recently widowed. Robert Jackson was her only child, according to locals.

 

He split from Ayesha's mother, named locally as Sam Collins, around a decade ago.

 

Ayesha is understood to attend the Manchester Communication Academy.

 

Another neighbour said: "No one knew anything happened until this morning when I got up and saw police cars everywhere. There were no sirens or anything last night. I didn't hear a thing.

 

"He was known by everyone as Jacko, dead quiet, always said hello and his girl was absolutely beautiful. I only saw them together yesterday walking down the street."

 

The same woman said the area had improved in recent years after a young man was shot dead outside her home in 2003.

 

A friend of Mr Jackson, who did not want to be named said: "I can't believe it. He was a really nice fella. They are dogs on this estate, absolute dogs. They'd have you over for a tenner, that's all it takes, a tenner."

 

Moston neighbours Harpurhey, a ward regularly cited as one of the most deprived inner-city areas in Britain and was the subject of a recent fly-on-the-wall BBC documentary, People Like Us.

 

Detective superintendent Simon Barraclough, from the Major Incident Team at Greater Manchester Police, said: "We are in the very early stages of our inquiries and are piecing together the circumstances that led to two men losing their lives and a 13-year-old girl fighting for her life in hospital.

 

"Obviously the community will be shocked as to what has happened but we can say we do not believe anyone else was involved and are not looking for anyone else in relation to this incident. However, a police presence will remain in the area to offer reassurance and answer any concerns residents may have."

Press Association

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