Inquest opened into death of ‘very vulnerable’ Manchester student killed by convicted rapist

Tributes were made to Elizabeth McCann who was murdered by Simon Goold in August 2022

An inquest has been opened into the death of a Manchester student who was killed by a convicted rapist.

Tributes, led by her friends and family, were paid to Elizabeth McCann, who was killed in August 2022 by fellow student Simon Goold.

Goold, 52 at the time, had previously been convicted for the rape, sexual assault and wounding of a neighbour in 2010. Goold was released from prison in April 2019 and was placed on life license as well as the Sex Offenders register.

Goold admitted the murder, changing his plea to guilty on the second day of the trial in February 20223. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 35 years.

Goold  and McCann were students at the Health and Wellbeing college, run by the NHS, in Ashton-under-Lyne.

As reported by Manchester Evening News, An inquest into McCann’s death has now begun after a request from her family, which was granted by the coroner. The inquest is expected to last for 5 days and will ‘at the very least’ investigate the circumstances surrounding Goold’s incarceration, his release from custody, his risk level, and how he came to be at the college where he met McCann.

After messaging McCann on 24 August 2022, Goold met her for a drink at the Star Inn pub, Ashton. She was bought several rounds of drinks as well as shots of Sambuca by Goold, before he was cut-off by bar staff.

McCann, who had mental health issues, took medication and rarely drank, was seen falling over and vomiting.

McCann, described as ‘very vulnerable’, was then taken to Goold’s flat in a taxi – being sexually assaulted on the journey. Neighbours then reported shouts and screams for around 25 minutes. The following morning, Goold rang police saying that he had killed McCann by strangling her during sex.

A post mortem gave the cause of death as ‘ligature strangulation’, the inquest heard.

The mother of McCann told the court that she “carries a picture of Elizabeth all the time” and that she was “very protective of her, we played football together. Her favourite team was [Manchester] city and I would be [Manchester] United. There are lots of good memories.”

Gaynor Hammerton, a former student turned volunteer at the college, had previously reported Goold to the college after an incident in July 2022. Hammerton described Goold as being “on his way to being very, very drunk” when he approached her and attempted to kiss her in a Wetherspoons pub in Ashton.

Hammerton described McCann as “always buzzing about” and as “my friend, she was kind and she was lovely.”

Describing one of the last times she saw McCann, Hammerton said she was “laughing and joking. She had me in stitches. She was just dead happy.”

Featured images via Google Maps and Greater Manchester Police

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