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24 January 2013, 15:35
Three men have been bailed, after they were arrested on suspicion of murdering an off-duty police officer.
Greater Manchester Pc Gareth Francis, 28, died in the early hours of Sunday following an alleged assault.
A post-mortem examination confirmed he died from a head injury after being punch one.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said that two men, aged 20 and 21, were bailed until March 5 and March 7. A third man, who handed himself in to police, was bailed until January 28.
Police and emergency services were called at 1.20am on Sunday to a report of an assault in Castle Street, Edgeley, where Pc Francis was found with a serious head injury. He had been walking home after being dropped off by taxi from a night out in Manchester with friends when he was attacked.
Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Stepping Hill Hospital, where he died shortly afterwards.
Detective Chief Inspector Denise Worth from the major incident team said: “Although arrests have been made we are still keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident. We believe there may have been a number of people in or around the area at the time and I would urge them to come forward and speak to us.
“You may not think the information you have is relevant but if you were inside or outside the pub in the early hours of Sunday, please get in touch. The details you supply will be treated with the strictest of confidence.”
Pc Francis joined Greater Manchester Police in 2007 and served in South Manchester and Wythenshawe before a move to West Didsbury police station last summer. Tributes paid by colleagues spoke of him as “a consummate professional police officer”.