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Man jailed for life for raping and murdering woman in Ashton-Under-Lyne

|News, Sexual offences

A man has been jailed for life, with a minimum term of 35 years, for raping and murdering a 26-year-old woman.

Simon Goold, 51, first met Elizabeth McCann when they attended the same class at the Health and Wellbeing College in Ashton-Under-Lyne in November 2019.

At 2.40pm on 24 August 2022, they met in the Star Inn pub on Old Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne. Goold bought Elizabeth, who was on medication and rarely drank alcohol, several double vodkas plus racks of Sambuca shots. By 4pm Elizabeth fell sideways off her seat and needed assistance in order to stand.

When Goold returned to the bar for more drinks, bar staff refused him service because Elizabeth was clearly drunk, whilst he appeared to be sober. Goold then escorted her out of the pub, propped her up against a wall and ordered a taxi.

During the taxi journey he sexually assaulted her when she was unresponsive. When they arrived outside his flat on Manchester Road shortly after 5pm, Elizabeth fell over before Goold led her into the property.

Once inside his flat Goold raped and sexually assaulted Elizabeth before he strangled her to death.

Explicit photos and videos of Elizabeth were recovered from his phone. In one of the videos Elizabeth is heard telling Goold that she is in pain.

The following morning at 9am Goold attended Ashton Police station to report there was a dead woman at his bedsit and that he had killed her by strangling her during intercourse.

Craig Cleminson, senior crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service's North West rape and serious sexual offences unit, said: "Simon Goold deliberately plied Elizabeth McCann with alcoholic drinks over a short period of time, before taking her back to his flat with the intention of taking advantage of her vulnerable state for his own sexual gratification.

"Throughout the case he claimed that Elizabeth had given her full consent to all that happened to her and that he had not intended to cause her harm. But on the second day of the trial he eventually pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting, raping and murdering her.

"I cannot begin to imagine the sense of loss Elizabeth's family are experiencing; I would like to express my condolences to them.

"Nothing can bring her back, but I hope they take some comfort that Goold has been brought to justice for taking her away from them."

Notes to editors

Simon Goold (DOB 16/11/1970) pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court on 21 February 2023

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