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Two men have been found guilty of killing and dismembering their friend and were today (Friday 15 July 2022) sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to 28 years in prison.
Ashley Walsh, 34, from Failsworth in Oldham had not been seen for some days by his family and friends whose concerns grew. They later reported him Missing to Police who launched an investigation. His body was found dead in the wooded area of Sand Hills Park in Collyhurst on 17 January 2022.
Gerard McGlacken (born 6 December 1976) and Aaron Evitt (born 5 June 1988) were found guilty on 13 July 2022 of murder and were sentenced today (15 July). They had both pleaded guilty to Preventing a Lawful Burial at an earlier hearing.
The court heard how Ashley was captured on CCTV on 7 January 2022 at around 7.30pm, walking his dog with McGlacken and Evitt from Kintore Walk towards Rochdale Road. It was the last time he was seen alive.
The court then heard how later that night, Ashley Walsh and Evitt had been involved in an argument.
Evitt later admitted to hitting Ashley over the head with a hammer following this argument, although a postmortem examination found that he had died from multiple injuries, including severe trauma to his skull and multiple stab wounds to his chest. Evitt discovered McGlacken had dismembered Ashley’s body and his remains were later placed into 4 suitcases.
Ashley was reported missing shortly after his disappearance and following a police investigation, both Evitt and McGlacken were remanded in custody on 18 January 2022.
Officers recovered human remains in Sand Hills Park, which were later formally identified as those of Ashley’s. Black bin bags were also found at McGlacken’s address at 7 Kintore Walk and a forensic examination confirmed they contained blood matching the DNA profile of Ashley Walsh.
Following a police search around the Kintore Walk area, officers also recovered items from a residential bin which included a jacket that Evitt is seen wearing in CCTV footage outside the Bobby Convenience Store on Rochdale Road and also on CCTV from Boggart Hole Clough county park - where McGlacken and Evitt were seen abandoning Ashley’s dog.
Detective Inspector Daniel Lee of GMP’s Major Incident Team said: “These convictions are the result of a thorough investigation by our Major Incident Team who were committed to securing justice for Ashley’s family and I’m pleased that those responsible were convicted.
It was a heinous act of violence and not only did Aaron Evitt and Gerard McGlacken take Ashley’s life, but they also attempted to conceal what they had done – causing extreme distress and upset to Ashley’s family and friends.
Our thoughts are with them at this time, and we can only hope that today’s verdict brings some comfort.”
Ashley’s family said they were left devastated by the loss and have paid tribute to him. They said “Ashley, our blond haired curly haired smiling faced little boy. Growing up in a large family, he touched the hearts of everyone he met. By nature, he was helpful, sentimental, mischievous and the most easy-going person. A talented motocross rider, his dad always his biggest supporter. We have been left devastated that Ashley was to lose his life in such horrific circumstances, he was a lover not a fighter. Ashley – you mean the world to us, if love alone could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”