Thursday 26 April 2018

Homeowner released on bail after arrest for stabbing suspected burglar


A HOMEOWNER has been released on bail after his arrest following the fatal stabbing of a suspected burglar in an affluent area of Manchester over the weekend.

The case is reminiscent of Irish farmer Padraig Nally who was released and acquitted of murder after shooting John “Frog” Ward in 2004 after he was found trespassing on his Mayo farm.

39 year-old businessman Vincent Cooke was taken into custody following the incident in the Stockport.

Police found the alleged intruder, Raymond Jacob (37), with knife injuries when they were called to the house at 7.50pm on Saturday.

He was given first aid by paramedics but died a short time later.

A 33-year-old man who is suspected to have fled the scene in a white van was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

The two men allegedly forced their way into the house and threatened the householder before one of the assailants suffered fatal stabbing injuries.

Mr. Cooke, 39, a married father of one who has run a number of small courier and logistics companies was said to be relaxing alone when the intruders broke in.

His wife Karen, 34, and 12-year-old son returned home during the incident but escaped unharmed

Floral tributes to the dead man, referred to as "Ray", "Raymond" and "Uncle Raymondo", from family and friends were placed at the scene. One read: "Love you son. Going to miss you more than anything."

Chief Superintendent Tim Forber, of Greater Manchester police, said: "Clearly this is a serious incident in which a man has lost his life and, at this time, we believe the dead man was one of two men who were attempting to carry out a burglary at the house."

Police are thought to be inquiring as to whether the intruders broke in to try to steal the keys to the Cookes’ cars parked on the forecourt, a jeep and a sports car, or if there was another motive.

The case will be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service but legal experts say it is unlikely that Mr. Cooke will face any charge since a householder is empowered to use "reasonable force" when and if they feel their life is threatened.

In June Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, said householders who injured burglars would not face criminal charges.

An Act of Parliament would be used to “clarify” the existing legal right to use “reasonable force” against intruders.

This is incident bears striking similarities to the death of John “Frog” Ward in 2004. Mr Ward, who had numerous criminal convictions, was trespassing on Mr. Nally’s property when he was discovered by Mayo farmer Padraig Nally. Mr Ward was fatally shot by Mr Nally as he fled the property.

Mr Nally received a six year custodial sentence for manslaughter.

In December of 2006 Mr Nally was granted a retrial where he was acquitted of manslaughter and granted release.

In 2009, the Government accepted recommendations by the Law Reform Commission that a new law of self defense should be introduced allowing a householder to kill in certain circumstances, if defending themselves, their family or their home.

It is colloquially as ''Nally's law'' since it was Mr. Nally's case, which was tried in his native County Mayo in 2004, which prompted the Commission to review current law.

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