From ‘Godfather of Oldham’ to relentless child killers … the trials that shocked Greater Manchester this year

As the country continues to struggle with coronavirus, the wheels of justice continue to turn.

The pandemic has changed many aspects of society, but judges still lock criminals inside, and juries judge the behavior of their peers.

Manchester Crown Courts have continued to hear some of the most shocking cases across the country.

Murders, high-level drug dealers and raucous gangs of armed robbers have all been locked up.

Here are some of the most shocking cases men have reported over the last 12 months.

Aram Sheibani



Aram Sheibani

“Your greed knows no bounds,” a judge told Aram Sheibani before jailing him for 37 years.

Sheibani lived a dizzying life in luxury funded by crime.

He was identified as an international drug lord, and evidence showed he was ‘close to the very source’ of cocaine in Columbia.

Sheibani had enjoyed the jewels of his wealth, amassing a £ 5 million property empire, expensive cars including a Bentley and a Porsche and luxury accommodation such as a £ 1.74 million property in one of London’s most exclusive areas.

He also paid for cosmetic surgery, including veneers, hair transplants and a nose job.

Sheibani claimed that his wealth had been built up legally, but a police investigation revealed that he was the true source of his luxury lifestyle.

“Sheibani is a calculated, fraudulent and intrusive criminal who believes he is above the law,” said Sergeant Lucy Pearson, of the GMP’s Economic Crime Unit, after the trial.

Zak Bolland, David Worrall and Courtney Brierley



Courtney Brierley, Zak Bolland and David Worrall

More than 20 months after her children were murdered in a horrific arson attack, their mother suffered the same fate.

Demi, 15, eight-year-old Brandon; seven-year-old Lacie and Lia, three, were all killed when the disgusting couple Zak Bolland and David Worrall threw petrol bombs into the Pearson family’s home.

The relentless killers had been involved in a petty quarrel with the children’s big brother Kyle.

The children’s mother Michelle survived the fire but received 68 percent burns.

In the 20 months since the horrific attack until her death, Michelle remained in the hospital in pain.

She eventually lost the urge to live on after months of treatment and rehabilitation work and died in August 2019 after becoming ill after surgery.

Bolland and Worrall were found guilty of murdering the four children after a trial in 2018.



Michelle Pearson and her children

They were found guilty of Michelle’s murder at another trial in April.

Bolland’s ex-girlfriend Courtney Brierley, who ‘encouraged and helped’ the couple, was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter at the trial in 2018, and she admitted manslaughter before the most recent trial.

Bolland and Worrall are serving life sentences with minimum sentences of 40 and 37 years, while Brierley is serving a 21-year prison sentence.

Mohammed Fareed and Faisal Farid



Mohammed Fareed poses with a BMW with the number plate EVII YOB

Drug Chief Mohammed Fareed, dubbed ‘The Godfather of Oldham’, had branched out into a new, fearsome crime.

To lure unsuspecting victims who thought they were buying cars online, to horrific armed robberies.

Some were attacked with hammers or machetes, while others had a pistol aimed at them after traveling to Oldham and Manchester.

They had often traveled miles.

One victim was a mother who had come from Dundee with her two-year-old boy.

After arriving in a taxi, masked men armed with weapons tried to get into their taxi and rob them.

Police identified 14 robberies or attempted robberies from September 2019 to February last year.



Mohammed Fareed and Faisal Farid

Fareed ‘pulled the strings’ of the criminal gang, while his son Faisal Farid was also involved.

Farid, as ‘Fareed the deceiver’, was jailed for 12 years while his father received a 20-year jail term.

‘Leased hand’ Adam Marco, involved in two of the incidents, was jailed for six years.

Christopher Sammon, John Sammon, Gary Betts, Gerard Boyle and Wayne Simmonds



Top Row LR: Wayne Simmonds, John Sammon, Gerard Boyle Bottom Row LR: Christopher Sammon, Gary Betts

Secret ties revealed a scary plot about robbing and torturing a wealthy businessman in the 80s.

Plans were made to target the retired butcher and force him to hand over huge sums of cash.

Police rushed in to stop the action a few hours before it was to happen.

The gang discussed posing as police officers and claiming they raided the man’s home due to alleged tax evasion.

They also talked about cutting off his ear or holding an iron to his chest.

Police were able to listen to the chats the gang had after installing covert listening devices on an industrial unit in Openshaw, which they used as a front for crime.

One of the conversations the gang had brought to the attention of officers who were listening.

“They earn, these c **** make money every day, yes, every f *** day, they can not go to the bank,” Christopher Sammon said when talking about the butcher.

“They’re too busy, these butchers, every slut is going to buy this meat.”

Sammon, John Sammon, Gary Betts, Gerard Boyle and Wayne Simmonds were all locked up after being found guilty of conspiracy to rob.

Michael Burke, Jack Yarwood, Stuart Watson and Daniel Adamson



Daniel Adamson, Jack Yarwood, Michael Burke and Stuart Watson

A raging gang of armed robbers continued to commit crimes even though they knew police were on their way to them.

A villain sent a text message to a friend saying, “We’ll take p *** now”.

Four members of the gang eventually received life sentences for a fearsome six-month riot in which they struck out 29 times.

The gang terrorized a family in their own home, targeting Co-op and McColls grocery stores as well as an exchange office in a busy supermarket in broad daylight.

Michael Burke, 40, Jack Yarwood, 35, Stuart Watson, 40; and Daniel Adamson, 35, were all sentenced to life in prison.

A robbery was committed in a large detached house in Warburton, Trafford.

A mother and her children aged 13 and nine were packed into a closet when robbers with machete demanded cash and threatened to kill her partner and injure her children.

“Give me your watch, give me everything, or I’ll kill you,” a robber told his partner, a ‘successful businessman’.

The gang stole jewelery and watches for £ 60,000, £ 2,000 in cash and a Mercedes GLS.

The mother, now afraid of the dark and sleeping with a knife, later said, “It was literally the worst night of my life.”

Thomas McCann



Thomas McCann

A couple walking their dogs in a country park made a dismal discovery.

During a stroll in Reddish Vale Country Park, they stumbled upon some garbage bags that contained body parts.

The much-loved mother Yvonne McCann had been brutally murdered and parted by her jealous alienated husband.

The couple met when they were 14 and were childhood sweethearts.

They married in 1996 and had three children, and all was well until McCann cheated on her.

She found a new relationship and planned a new future.

The day before her remains were found in the park, her family had enjoyed a barbecue on a public holiday.



Yvonne McCann died in May last year

Her daughter Rachel had said goodbye to her mother before leaving for work. When she came back that night, her mother was not there.

She was reported missing and suspicion was aroused when Rachel found her mother’s cell phone in McCann’s jacket.

Only McCann wants to know exactly how he murdered Yvonne.

He later admitted: “I killed my wife and threw her in the trash.”

He said they had gotten into an argument over frozen chips left out of the freezer and also identified himself as ‘Hannibal Lecter’.

McCann was jailed for life for serving at least 12 years and 182 days after pleading guilty to murder.

Muhammad Islam




Mohammed Islam did everything to help his staff when he was brutally killed.

The owner of the Marple Spice restaurant in Stockport, had offered to take a food delivery before he finished work when it was on its way home.

But he was cruelly hit by a gang of thieves who were looking for a car to steal.

Islam, 53, was driving in his ‘beloved’ Mercedes C-Class, which his children had bought for him for his 25th wedding anniversary.

After parking up in Romiley and having to deliver the takeaway, a 15-year-old boy got into his car.

Islam ran back and desperately tried to stop him.

He clung to the car until the boy accelerated.



The much-loved father and restaurateur was killed during his last delivery of the day

A witness said the boy was driving “at the kind of speed I’ve seen on Top Gear when they floor it completely”.

Islam held on for about 30 meters, but he was then thrown out on the road.

He hit his head on the ground and was then run over by his own car.

The father of three died two days later.

The 15-year-old, who for legal reasons could not be named, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy to steal and was jailed for four years and nine months.

Kevin Pryce



Kevin Pryce

Mia Strothers, 14, went to school when she was killed by a drug-addicted motorist.

Kevin Pryce was driving at almost double the speed limit in a BMW that he knew had defective brakes when he plowed into the Mia.

He drove off and later tried to blame Mia, claiming she had stepped out on the road.

Even after the crash, he claimed that his windshield was damaged because someone had thrown a ‘brick’ at it, and then asked to have it repaired.

Mia, a student at North Manchester Academy, crossed the road after 6 p.m. 8, when Pryce hit her, causing her to be thrown into the air.



Mia Strothers

Pryce later turned himself in to police. He tested positive for cocaine and hashish, claiming he had taken them since

unintended event.

Mia’s father said he felt ‘dead inside’ since her death.

“Mia was my baby. I had to leave the hospital that morning without her,” Daniel Strothers said.

“People tell me I’ll get better with time, but it’s just getting worse.

“Time changes absolutely nothing.

“I’ve lost my motivation for life. I feel dead inside.”

Pryce of Oldham admitted to having caused the death by dangerous driving, failure to stop, driving without a license and driving without insurance.

He was jailed for 10 years and given a life ban on driving.

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