Gay Village strangler befriended men, choked them and then robbed them

A man who strangled lone men in Manchester's Gay Village before stealing from them has been jailed.

Mason Shaw stole from his victims after strangling them until they were unconscious, leaving one in the road who was then run over.

Six victims were attacked in the Gay Village and another in Oldham between August and December 2016.

Shaw, 21, pleaded guilty to robbery and theft and was given a 13 year extended sentence at Manchester Crown Court.

He was a "serial street robber" who strangled "six men in order to rob them and theft from another man", the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Police received a report a man had been robbed in Oldham town centre and was then left in the road where he was then hit by a car.

Shaw, of Sharples Hall Street in Oldham, attacked victims in the Gay Village when they were isolated from the crowd, police said.

Det Con Jonathan Barnett said: "I cannot imagine what Shaw's victims must have gone through, being robbed and abandoned in such a terrifying way."

Martin Hill, head of crown court prosecutions for the CPS in the North West, said the case was initially treated as a homophobic hate crime.

"The court concluded that they were satisfied that he deliberately targeted gay men within the LGBT community due to their perceived vulnerability but they did not consider the offences were based on hostility based on sexual orientation."

Shaw was sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison with an extended licence of four years and three months.

He was also made subject to an indefinite Criminal Behavioural Order, preventing him from entering Manchester's Gay Village.

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