Nathan Daniels sentenced to life for murder of Michael Blake

07/06/2017

Nathan Daniels has been found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of the murder of Michael Blake in Westhoughton near Bolton in November 2016. He was sentenced to life imprisonment today and ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison.

Nathan Quigley and Joe Wilson pleaded guilty to manslaughter; Brendan Fallon and John Edwards pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.  They will be sentenced later today.

Joanna Ingle from the CPS said: "Michael Blake was taken away from his home at a late hour and shot in the head in the back of a van in an isolated industrial location.  It was very clear from the evidence that Nathan Daniels, Nathan Quigley and Joe Wilson were involved in a joint plan to threaten or harm him.  They went to Bolton with the intention of using or threatening violence with the gun that Nathan Daniels was carrying.

"The evidence we presented at court proved that Nathan Daniels took the gun with him and fired the shots that ultimately killed Michael Blake.  His defence that Michael Blake had the gun and inflicted the wounds on himself during a struggle was simply implausible.

"By piecing together the evidence from witnesses with the forensic evidence, CCTV and telephone cell site data, the police and CPS were able to present to the jury a detailed account of the circumstances that led to Michael Blake's violent death.  We have been able prove beyond doubt that Nathan Daniels is guilty of his murder.  His accomplices, Nathan Quigley and Joe Wilson have pleaded guilty to his manslaughter. 

"Our thoughts are with Michael Blake's family and friends during this very difficult time."

Background

Michael Blake was at home in Manchester Road, Westhoughton, with his partner on the night of 3 November 2016 when Nathan Daniels, Joe Wilson and Nathan Quigley turned up at their house in a white Ford transit van.  He got into the van with the three men and they drove off to an isolated road on an industrial estate as short distance away and within a few minutes he was shot in the head and the leg. 

The defendants returned to Manchester Road and dumped Michael Blake on the pavement outside his house.  Nathan Daniels and Joe Wilson drove off while Nathan Quigley raised the alarm with Michael Blake's partner that he was injured.  The emergency services were called and Michael Blake died from his injuries in hospital the following morning. 

During the trial of Nathan Daniels the prosecution case was that the killing followed a dispute over drugs or money, and that Nathan Daniels was the gunman who deliberately fired the shots at Michael Blake, and was therefore guilty of his murder.  Nathan Daniels denied killing him and claimed in his defence that the gun had gone off during a struggle in the back of the van.

Brendan Fallon pleaded guilty to assisting an offender by concealing the van at his motor business in Denton following the murder.  John Edwards pleaded guilty to assisting an offender by cleaning the van.

Further information

Joanna Ingle is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the CPS North West Complex Casework Unit