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Former police officer who attempted to murder ex-partner at hotel jailed

|News, Violent crime

A former police officer who attempted to murder his ex-partner at a hotel before fleeing the scene has been jailed for 16 years.

James Riley, 28, was a serving police officer with Lancashire Constabulary when the offence took place in November 2022.

He had previously denied attempting to murder the woman but accepted his guilt at a pre-trial hearing on 7 November 2023. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison at Manchester Crown Court today.

Nicky Moore, a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “James Riley violently attacked the victim in a jealous rage, causing lasting physical and psychological damage.

“Although he claimed he instantly regretted what he had done, instead of staying to face the consequences of his actions, he attempted to evade arrest by fleeing to another part of the country.

“Despite the victim being unable to recall what happened to her because of memory loss caused by her injuries, the CPS and Greater Manchester Police worked closely together to build a strong case including CCTV footage and expert medical and forensic evidence. The strength of the evidence meant Riley had no option but to accept his guilt.

“I can only hope the victim in this case will be able to move forward knowing Riley will be spending a significant amount of time behind bars for his actions.”

The relationship between Riley and the victim had been deteriorating for some time, which Riley admitted he was responsible for, but he still wanted to reconcile.

The pair had agreed they would attend a concert on 10 November 2022, booked when they were together, which they did, before returning to a Manchester hotel as previously arranged.

Shortly after returning to the hotel, Riley became violent, and within 15 minutes had telephoned his parents stating that he thought he had killed the victim.

The investigation that followed found he had strangled her to the point that she had lost consciousness.

Medical evidence presented to the court confirmed asphyxiation by way of suffocation or strangulation must have taken place for a period of more than two minutes.

After speaking to his parents for 11 minutes, Riley rang an ambulance while fleeing the hotel via a fire escape. He then got into his car and drove away erratically.

The car was later found abandoned with signs of a collision and Riley was arrested in West Yorkshire at 4.09am the following morning.

Paramedics assisted the victim who was found lying on the floor with clear signs of a brain injury.

She was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary where she was placed into an induced coma and taken to intensive care.

The woman suffered a hypoxic brain injury which has caused memory loss, issues with concentration, difficulty processing information as well as fatigue and infrequent sleep paralysis.

Due to the injury, she was not able to recall the events in the hotel room. 

Notes to editors

  • James Riley (DOB 03/10/1995) is from Preston, Lancashire.
  • He pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder (10 November 2022).

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