Colne man found not guilty of murdering girlfriend

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A 25-YEAR-old man has been found not guilty of murdering his girlfriend at his flat in Colne just days before Christmas.

Daniel Lancaster, of Hawley Street, was acquitted of the murder of Anna Banks by a jury at Manchester Crown Court today.

However, Lancaster admitted manslaughter at the start of his trial and will be sentenced on Wednesday, August 17th.

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010, police were called to a flat in Centaur Court, Hawley Street, where they discovered Miss Banks’ body.

A post mortem examination revealed the 23-year-old, from Colne, died as a result of manual strangulation.

Detective Inspector Mark Rothwell, from Lancashire Police’s Major Investigation Team, said: “While I respect the decision of the jury, naturally Anna’s family is disappointed with the decision to clear the defendant on the charge of murder.

“However, following Lancaster’s guilty plea to manslaughter, he will be sentenced to a very long time behind bars and I hope this will be of some small comfort to the family as they continue to try to come to terms with their loss.

“Our thoughts are with Anna’s family at this difficult time and we will continue to offer our support for as long as they need it.”