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Police appeal to trace attempted murder who may be in Manchester area

Police are still searching for a man wanted in connection with the attempted murder of a woman in Newton Heath.

Shortly before 9.45am on Monday 29 February 2016 police were called to an address on Surbiton Road in Newton Heath, Manchester to reports that a man had deliberately set fire to a woman.

Fire and police officers attended and found that a 49 year old woman had been left with serious burns. She was taken to hospital via air ambulance where she is still in a critical condition and has 70% burns to her body.

Initial investigations suggest that petrol was thrown over the woman before she was set alight.

A 19-year-old woman escaped uninjured from an upstairs window of the house, with help from neighbours.

Police efforts are ongoing to trace 50-year-old Stephen Archer, of Victoria Street, Openshaw, who is wanted in connection with this incident.

Superintendent Arif Nawaz from GMP’s North Manchester Division said: “First of all our thoughts are with the victim and her family, this is a horrific incident and I cannot imagine what the victim is going through. We can assure her, and the wider public that we are doing all that we can to try and find the person responsible.

“We have a large multi-skilled team currently searching for Stephen Archer.

“We believe Stephen may have links to Openshaw, where he lives, and the Marple and Romiley areas where we know he has connections. Our search however, is not limited to those areas.

“We have reason to believe Stephen could be carrying several bottles of petrol in his backpack and a man was seen fitting his description cycling away from the scene.

We are appealing for the public to take a look at his picture and get in touch with us if you see him.

“In particular, we are appealing to anyone who may work in a petrol station who may have seen Stephen.

“Please do not approach Stephen, but contact police as a matter of urgency by calling 999.

“Stephen, if you should see this appeal, come and talk to police. We can end this situation in a calm manner and find out what lead to this tragic situation.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the investigation team directly on 0161 856 3891, 999, or the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.