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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Arrests due in Jessie death probe
Jessie James
Jessie was shot dead in a park almost a year ago
Detectives investigating the death of Jessie James are set to arrest two people on suspicion of his murder.

The announcement came after the inquest into the teenager's death was adjourned by Manchester coroner Nigel Meadows when a new witness came forward.

Police described the new information as a "breakthrough" and revealed the two people had links to gangs.

Jessie, 15, was shot dead as he rode his bike near Broadfield Park in Moss Side, Manchester, on 9 September 2006.

The dramatic development was announced as the public inquest into the schoolboy's death entered its third and final day.

Pete Weatherby, barrister for Jessie's family, told the court about the witness and potential breakthrough in the murder inquiry.

All I want is justice for Jessie at the end of the day so, we are just anxiously waiting to hear of the developments
Barbara Reid, Jessie's mother

He said the new witness, described as "witness XZ" in court, had come forward through a religious leader from Moss Side.

After a short adjournment, Mr Meadows told the hearing he was adjourning the inquest to give police time to make further inquiries in light of the new evidence.

"I don't know how long it will take police to make further inquiries. The hearing is adjourned pending further police inquiries," he told the court.

Speaking outside court, Det Supt Shaun Donnellan, of Greater Manchester Police, said the witness had come forward as a "direct result of the success of the public inquest".

Anonymous testimony

"Somebody has come forward and done the right thing and as senior investigating officer in this inquiry I am appealing for other people to be as brave," he said.

"It's the first time since the start of the inquiry that I have had sight of witness testimony that I believe might lead to a prosecution.

"The two people I intend to arrest are linked to Manchester gangs. Both people are known to me. Both people have previously featured in the investigation."

Barbara Reid
Jessie's mother said all she wanted was justice for Jessie

Mr Donnellan said other potential witnesses could be confident that they would not be identified because of "very sophisticated" voice distortion methods.

"You can't tell even if they are men or women. This new witness has been so persuaded by these methods that the witness has come forward and provided witness testimony," he added.

Speaking after the hearing finished, Jessie's mother Barbara Reid, said she was very pleased someone had come forward.

"All I want is justice for Jessie at the end of the day so, we are just anxiously waiting to hear of the developments," she said.

Witness XZ will be afforded the same anonymity as other previous witnesses during the inquest.

Jesse's mother Barbara Reid reacts to the news

Boy 'killed for rejecting gangs'
07 Aug 07 |  Manchester
Jessie 'accused of being in gang'
06 Aug 07 |  Manchester
Two warrants for Jessie witnesses
06 Aug 07 |  Manchester
'Anonymous' Jessie inquest opens
06 Aug 07 |  Manchester
Gang refusal clue in Jessie probe
10 Nov 06 |  Manchester

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