Following a recent Salford burglar stabbing case against a Pendlebury resident, the killing charges have been dropped. The resident was attacked with a machete during the attack in Ethel Avenue, Pendlebury. The homeowner Peter Flanagan acted in self defence, Nazir Afzal CPS investigator has said. The John Leonard Bennell death is the latest in a number of killings of burglars across the UK.
Further to our recent article on the arrest of the homeowner who had to defend his property against masked and armed intruders. It has been confirmed that no charges will be made against Peter Flanagan, the man who has become a local folk hero for his killing of a masked intruder who broke into his home.
Thoughts should also go out to the family of the man John Bennell who died. Mr Flanagan received messages of support from all over the UK after reports that a man who killed burglar has been arrested back in June.
Flanagan was initially arrested with his son on suspicion of fatally stabbing a burglar at his home in Salford. He was released the following day, and now it has confirmed that there will be no charges, after careful examination of the case by police and the CPS.
After assessing the evidence available Police and the CPS concluded that Mr Flanagan acted in self-defence during the fatal knifing of the robber who entered his property.
The dead man John Bennell had died after breaking into Peter Flanagan’s property on 22/06/2011, June 22nd. He was with a number of other men who have not yet been apprehended and members of the public are advised that burglars may still be operating in the area.
The evidence suggests that Mr Bennell was stabbed in the chest during a struggle with Peter and his son at Peters property in Ethel Avenue, Pendlebury. The burglar and his accomplices were able to retreat and the blood soaked body of Bennell was left nearby, and was found by Police, and attended to by medics.
After the incident the innocent Mr Flanagan who is 59 was swiftly arrested as well as his son and also his sons girlfriend. None of the trio will face charges. Flanagan was released a few days later, and has now been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The man Bennell who was 27 was a resident of Hyde in Greater Manchester. He was just one of at least four masked men who tried to break into the back door of a terraced house, it has still not been confirmed fully whether or not the burglars gained entry to the house but it is thought that they did, and that is where the altercation took place.
The stabbing came after the English Prime Minister David Cameron and Ken Clarke had promised stronger support for people protecting their property from burglars, and it is thought that David had kept a keen eye on this case, though he had no influence as to the outcome of the case.
Mr Cameron had promised that it was beyond doubt that homeowners and small shopkeepers who use reasonable force to defend themselves or their properties should not be prosecuted, and that every man has a right to protect himself.
High ranking CPS official Nazir Afzal who is the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West said that he was satisfied that Peter Flanagan had acted in self defence. When woken by noises downstairs in his house shortly before midnight, Flanagan was able to get to the kitchen and pick out a knife to defend himself and his property with. When armed and investigating the disturbance he was then confronted by the intruders, one of which was armed with a machete, therefore using a knife as he did, this was covered under the term reasonable force, and he would not be prosecuted.
Nazir confirmed that people have the fundamental right to use reasonable force when acting in self-defence to defend themselves, their family and their property. When analysing the evidence Nazir believes that in the frightening circumstances that were faced by Mr Flanagan, he acted correctly, and did what he honestly and instinctively believed was necessary to protect himself and his home from intruders.
For more information on the origional incident see our previous article.
This story is one that should be carefully looked at both by the government and members of the general public. The law has always stated a man (or woman) can use resonable force to protect themselves, and this is only right. An Englishmans home is his castle, and those looking to break into houses should know that they are risking death.
There is also the issue of the hundreds of people killed each year, where the defence of the accused is self defence, and it is a very hard thing to disprove.
Many recent cases have highlighted the abuse of this law, where known drug dealers have killed their rivals in their homes and been aquitted due to the defending your property/resonable force law.
It is believed that many people are killed in this way each year, sometimes when at a party on private land or in a house, and the defence of they attacked me so I defended can be quite a strong defence. Perhaps is a reason why you should be very careful when in someone elses house, and if there is trouble, leave the property, do not risk becoming a victim.
In this case the actions appear justified, other cases maybe not so.