On 25 February 1994, Jason Comerford – aged 21 – had been enjoying a night out in the city centre when he was fatally stabbed in the neck whilst on George Leigh Street near to Great Ancoats Street in Manchester. A lengthy investigation was launched, but despite extensive enquiries at the time, the offender wasn’t identified.
In 2015 the Cold Case Review Unit began a further review of the case and was able to use new advanced technology to analyse the crime scene samples, including advanced DNA techniques and extensive research which identified Geoffrey Strike as the suspect.
The case was passed to the GMP’s Major Incident Support Unit who continued with enquiries and was eventually able to bring a murder charge against Strike in February 2020, almost 26 years to the day of Jason’s death.
Geoffrey Strike , formerly of the Manchester area, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility following a number of mental health assessments. Strike appeared at Manchester Crown Square Court and was sentenced to a hospital order without limit of time.
Martin Bottomley, Head of GMP’s Cold Case Unit, said: “Jason was brutally stabbed in what can only be described as a motiveless and random attack on a young man who was just enjoying a night out in the city centre.
“Jason was a quiet and reserved individual with no known enemies and largely kept himself to himself and his family and friends were left absolutely distraught by his death. Our thoughts have remained with his family ever since and we never gave up hope in the search to find justice for Jason.
“Sadly Jason’s parents did not live long enough to see their son’s killer unmasked, but I can only hope that we have finally been able to provide some solace to the rest of his family by providing the answers to their questions which have remained unanswered for far too long.”