Florist raider cleared of murder

A suspected armed robber stabbed to death during a bungled raid was cleared of murder nine years ago, police sources have confirmed.

It is understood that Gary Mullings, 30, was part of an armed gang which tried to rob a florists in Manchester.



He suffered fatal stab wounds during the incident.



Shopkeeper Cecil Coley, 72, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.



The Manchester Evening News said today that Gary Mullings was acquitted in January 2002 of the murder of Alan Byron, 18, who was shot dead in a car in Longsight a year earlier. Another man was convicted and jailed for life.



Police were called to the florist in Shrewsbury Street, Old Trafford, on Tuesday evening after reports that a man had been injured.



Police said a number of men had attempted to rob the shop and that a gun had been found at the scene.



Mullings was taken to hospital with a stab wound but died a short time later.



Mr Coley was also injured in the incident and was in hospital overnight.



Police said they expected to speak to him today.



A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said a 19-year-old man who presented himself at Manchester Royal Infirmary with stab wounds on Tuesday had been arrested on suspicion of robbery.



Mr Coley's nephew, Glen Simms, 49, said his uncle had had the shop premises for 40 years.



Mr Simms said: "I heard that two men went in to rob the shop and that my uncle was there with a friend.



"It appears they were attacked and my uncle acted to defend himself."



Shauna Smith, 17, said Mr Coley was known as "Pudding" because he used to make "slushies" - crushed ice drinks - and described him as a "very nice and lovely man".



Other neighbours said drug dealing was known to go on in the area.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?