Intruder death householder cleared
A man cleared of any wrongdoing after stabbing to death an intruder at his home said he has endured a "living nightmare" and still suffers flashbacks from the incident.
Vincent Cooke, 39, was told on Friday he would not face any charges over the fatal stabbing of Raymond Jacob at his detached house in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it was satisfied that the courier boss acted in self-defence as he was marched upstairs at knifepoint in the course of a burglary.
Mr Cooke was arrested on suspicion of murder and later released on bail pending further inquiries into the incident in the early evening of September 17.
Speaking of his ordeal, he said: "I would like to offer my utmost thanks for all the support the public and media have offered me and my family during this terrible event. I am most relieved that the CPS have decided not to charge me with any offence. It has been a living nightmare for me and I'm still suffering flashbacks of the incident.
"I would like in due course to be able to thank everyone personally, however as there is a person awaiting a court hearing concerning this matter I have been advised not to make any further comments at this time. I hope to now be able to get on with my life but will never forget the day that I had to fight for my life."
Mr Cooke was initially at home alone at his property in Midland Road, Bramhall, at around 7.50pm but his wife, Karen, and their 12-year-old son returned during the melee. They escaped unharmed. Police and paramedics gave first aid to Mr Jacob, 37, but he died shortly afterwards.
The family of known offender Mr Jacob later said they had been "distressed" at the events and supported the police inquiry to find out what happened. A 33-year-old man from Heald Green, Stockport, is in custody charged with aggravated burglary in connection with the incident and is next due to appear in court in December.
Announcing his decision on Mr Cooke, Nafir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the North West area, said: "I am not able to go into great detail about the circumstances of the incident as there is an ongoing prosecution against a second man for burglary, but the evidence shows that Mr Cooke had been taken upstairs at knifepoint, and that during a struggle with Raymond Jacob, Mr Cooke stabbed him in self defence."
It is the third time in recent months in Greater Manchester alone that self-defence has been deemed acceptable after a suspected intruder has been killed.