Three held as burglar stabbed to death
THREE members of a family were arrested yesterday on suspicion of stabbing to death a balaclava-clad intruder who had burst into their home in the middle of the of night.
Peter Flanagan (59), his son Neil (27), and the older man's unnamed girlfriend were arrested a week after David Cameron promised to protect the rights of householders safeguarding their homes.
All three were taken to a police station in Salford, Greater Manchester, and last night were still being questioned. They were arrested shortly after police found a 26-year-old man bleeding to death in a street 300 yards from their home.
Police later described the incident as "a tragic set of circumstances" and said they were trying to unravel precisely what happened in and around the Flanagans' terrace house.
A search of the area was quickly instigated and police found the stabbed man lying on a pavement. At least two of the other intruders fled as officers approached. Their associate was taken to hospital but was confirmed dead on arrival.
Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan told a press conference: "We believe the man who died was one of those trying to get into the address. But clearly it is a confusing picture at this stage and we have embarked upon a very complex inquiry."
A pivotal element of the investigation is to determine whether the dead man was stabbed inside the house or as he fled. The issue of home protection has been a topic of political debate in recent years.
In January last year Mr Cameron said: "The moment a burglar steps over your threshold and invades your property, with all the threat that gives to you, your family and your livelihood, I think they leave their human rights outside." (© Daily Telegraph, London)