Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Intruder death: Father and son held

Police at the scene in Salford, Greater Manchester
Police at the scene on Ethel Avenue in Salford

A father and son are being questioned on suspicion of murder after a suspected burglar who tried to break into their home was stabbed to death.

Greater Manchester Police said John Bennell, 27, from Hyde, died from a stab wound to the chest.

Peter Flanagan, 59, and his son, Neil, 27, were held by police after four men wearing dark clothing and balaclavas tried to smash their way through the back door of the house just before midnight on Wednesday in Ethel Avenue, Salford.

A woman, 21, who made a frantic 999 call for police to come to the property, was also held on suspicion of murder.

The victim was stabbed at least once, police said, after a "disturbance" in the terraced house and was then carried away by accomplices as they fled, it is believed. A second call alerted officers to the victim a short distance from the property and he was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have made an appeal to the public to try to trace his three accomplices.

The incident comes after Prime Minister David Cameron promised stronger support for people protecting their property from burglars.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan, Salford divisional commander for Greater Manchester Police, said: "Clearly this is a shocking incident and a man has lost his life. However, I can reassure the community that we will thoroughly investigate what happened last night and do not believe that members of the public are at risk.

"I would urge anyone who knows something to speak to officers from the major incident team and anyone else who has other concerns can speak to my officers, who will be providing an increased presence to provide the community with reassurance."

Asked whether the case raised issues over how far residents can go to protect themselves, he said: "We are investigating this matter within the legal framework as it stands and I don't want to speculate on political matters at this stage. If somebody was confronted by a burglar tonight, I would tell them to ring the police and use reasonable force to protect themselves."

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