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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 21:53 GMT
Man charged with officer's murder
Lesley Oake
Lesley Oake lays a tribute to her husband, Stephen
A man has been charged with murder following the death of a police officer during a raid on a Manchester flat.

The 27-year-old man, of North African origin, was charged on Thursday evening with killing Detective Constable Stephen Oake.

He was also charged with the attempted murders of four other officers.

Mr Oake, who worked for the Special Branch, died from stab wounds after taking part in the operation, in the Crumpsall district of north Manchester on Tuesday.

I will always miss you and love you so very much - can't wait to see you in heaven

Rebecca Oake

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said on Thursday evening: "A 27-year-old man of North African origin was tonight charged with the murder of Det Con Stephen Oake and four counts of attempted murder of four other officers who were injured in Crumpsall.

"He is due to appear at court tomorrow [Friday] morning."

The spokeswoman added that for security reasons, the location of the court could not be given.

Family's tribute

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Oake's widow, Lesley, and the couple's three children laid flowers at the scene of his death.

The card left by Mr Oake's son, Christopher
The card left by Mr Oake's son, Christopher
Mrs Oake, 40, spent 20 minutes outside the flat, reading the tributes to her husband and talking to his former colleagues.

Their children, Rebecca, 14, Corinne, 12, and Christopher, 15, were all in tears as they added their own flowers to the growing number of bouquets.

A floral tribute carried messages from each of them.

A card from Rebecca read: "To my daddy, I cannot begin to understand the reason of your death, why it should happen to you."

The message from Corinne, his youngest daughter, said: "Love you loads and loads and loads. I will see you in heaven one day."

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  The BBC's Ben Brown reports from Manchester
"She laid flowers for the man she called her dearest sweetheart"

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