Self defence stabbing: Third accomplice sentenced to six years following fatal Salford burglary

By Andrew Little

A third person has been sentenced in connection with the Salford burglary in which a homeowner killed one of the assailants in self-defence.

Christopher Troy, 24, from Hyde, was yesterday sentenced to six years in jail having pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and possession of a machete which was used in the break in.

Yesterday, MM reported the sentencing of accomplices Wesley Gibbons, 23, from Stretford, and Martin Jamieson, 27, from Eccles, who received eight and seven years respectably.

Peter Flanagan, 59, stabbed John Bennell, 27, after the group of four broke into his house on Ethal Avenue, Pendlebury, on the night of the 22 June.

Initially arrested, Mr Flanagan was later told he would face no charges having been judged to have used reasonable force while acting in self-defence.

“The victim was subject to a police investigation which was widely publicised and he was fully cooperative throughout. I hope that the conviction of Jamieson, Troy and Gibbons will go in some way to helping him rebuild his life,” said Detective Superintendent Dominic Scally.

“The victim was confronted by these men in his own home, a place where members of the public should feel safe and not threatened. No one should have to go through what he did and the events of that night still haunt him to this day and always will. 

“The men were equipped to intimidate their victim and they did not care how their actions would affect him. It is very sad that someone lost their life after that night and the emergency services did all they could to revive the man.”

Judge Leslie Hull yesterday 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.”

During the sentencing, the judge said that despite both displaying some ‘undoubtedly positive features’, what the intruders had done was ‘serious and entirely unforgivable’.

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