Accomplices of burglar stabbed to death by Salford man in self defence jailed

By Mancunian Matters staff

Two accomplices in the aggravated burglary that resulted in a Salford man stabbing one of his assailants to death in self defence, were jailed today.

Peter Flanagan, 59, stabbed John Bennell, 27, when he broke into Mr Flanagan’s home in Ethel Avenue, Swinton, with a machete along with three other men in June.

Three men fled the scene as Bennell collapsed from his wounds outside of Mr Flanagan’s home. They were brought for sentencing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court today.

Judge Leslie Hull said of Mr Flanagan: “He saw at close quarters his home being ransacked. In his terror he picked up a kitchen knife to defend himself.

“Part of the menace of this case is that it could have been Mr Flanagan – innocent, asleep, at home in his bed – rather than Bennell.”

When sentencing two of the men, the judge said that despite both displaying some ‘undoubtedly positive features’, what they had done was ‘serious and entirely unforgivable’.

All three had pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary during earlier hearings.

Wesley Gibbons, 23, from Stretford, was jailed for eight years and Martin Jamieson, 27, from Eccles, was sentenced to seven years. Jamieson did not enter the house.

The third defendant, Christopher Troy, 24, from Hyde, is yet to be sentenced.

Mr Flanagan was originally arrested on suspicion of murder, in which he spent three days in custody and was then released on bail.

In July prosecutors declared he would face no charges because he acted reasonably given the circumstances.

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