Homeowner Cleared Of Killing Burglar

A man from Bramhall, Stockport, has been cleared of stabbing to death a burglar at his home.

Raymond Jacob was stabbed to death whilst he was burgling Mr Vincent Cooke home. Mr Cooke was home alone initially but his wife and 12 year old son came home during the burglary, but luckily escaped unharmed.

Paramedics gave Mr Jacob’s first aid on site but he died shortly afterwards. Mr Cooke was arrested but was informed today that the Crown Prosecution Service will take no further action against him. Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, Mr Nazir Afzal, said: “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. “At the time he was in fear for his own safety and the safety of his wife and son who arrived at the house as the incident was happening. “It is clear to me that Mr Cooke did what he honestly and instinctively believed was necessary on that day to protect himself, his home and his family from intruders. “I am satisfied that this is a case where a householder, faced with armed intruders in frightening circumstances, acted in reasonable self defence. “The law is clear that anyone who acts in good faith in using whatever force they honestly feel is necessary to protect themselves, their families or their property will not be prosecuted for such action.”

The family of Mr Jacob’s, a known offender, said they had been “distressed” at the events and supported the inquiry to find out what happened.

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.

In July, the Crown Prosecution Service ruled that Mr Peter Flanangan, 59, of Ethel Avenue, Salford, used reasonable force when being burgled by 4 masked burglars. One of them being Mr John Leonard Bennell, 27.

Last month, the Crown Prosecution Service also decided no charges should be brought against a pensioner held on suspicion of murder. Shopkeeper Cecil Coley, 72, was arrested after an incident at his store in Old Trafford in July. Gary Mullings, 30, suffered fatal wounds during a frantic struggle at the Shrewsbury Street shop.