Street robber jailed for strangling men in Manchester Gay Village

23/08/2017

A 21 year old serial street robber, Mason Shaw, has today been given a 13 year extended sentence at Manchester Crown Court for strangling six men in order to rob them and theft from another man in Manchester and Oldham between 3 August and 10 December 2016.

The extended sentence of 13 years consists of a custody for eight years and nine months and extended licence of four years and three months. He was also made subject to an indefinite Criminal Behavioural Order.

Six of the victims were attacked in the Gay Village in Manchester City Centre. One man was attacked in Oldham town centre; after he had been strangled the defendant left him on the road where he then got run over by a car.

Martin Hill for the CPS said: "Mason Shaw carried out a serious of extremely violent offences against lone males in order to steal their money and personal belongings.  

"We worked closely with the police to piece together the evidence and build a strong case; this included CCTV and DNA evidence which proved that he had committed offences against one victim.  We then linked together each of the robberies as he had used the same method of attempting to incapacitate six of the seven victims. He approached and befriended each of them after they had enjoyed nights out; he then strangled them before rifling through their pockets for items to steal. The evidence against him was so strong he was left with no other option than to plead guilty to the offences he faced.

"The CPS treated this case as a homophobic hate crime from the outset. We considered carefully whether we could establish that the offences were motivated, wholly or partly, by hostility based on the victims' sexuality or presumed sexuality, particularly given that several offences occurred in the Gay Village. We therefore asked the court to consider a sentencing uplift; the court concluded that they were satisfied that he deliberately targeted gay men within the LGBT community due to their perceived vulnerability but they not consider the offences were based on hostility based on sexual orientation."

Note to editors:

  • Martin Hill is Head of Crown Court Prosecutions for CPS North West.
  • The CPS can ask the court to consider a sentencing uplift under section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.  The law imposes a general duty on criminal courts, when sentencing an offender, to treat more seriously any offence which can be shown to be aggravated by hostility based on the victim's sexuality or presumed sexuality. After hearing the relevant evidence, the court should state in open court whether the aggravating feature has been found proved: see s146(3). If it is not found proved, s146 will not apply and the court will proceed to sentence accordingly. If the aggravating feature is found proved, s146(3) will apply and any sentence that the court would have imposed for the "basic" offence should be increased accordingly.