Dad found himself in court after chasing off home invader

Duane Spooner, 43, now hopes to get back to his normal life
Duane Spooner, 43, now hopes to get back to his normal life -Credit:Andrew Teebay

A dad who chased a "threatening" home invader with a pair of kitchen knives was arrested himself after calling 999.

Duane Spooner, 43, armed himself with two kitchen knives and ran at a man who moments earlier had broken into his home, where his partner and three children were. The distressed couple reported what had happened to the police - but were amazed when officers showed up at their house in the middle of the night and booked Duane instead.

The dad-of-three appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, May 8, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a blade.

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The incident, which happened on Turret Road in New Brighton on March 21 last year, is believed to have come about following an online disagreement between Duane's partner, Zoe Lewis, and a man they did not know. While walking home during the afternoon, Duane noticed he was being followed by the man, who spoke to him "in an aggressive manner".

A short time later, as Duane was visiting his local off-licence, the man "kicked down the door and entered the hallway (of their home) in a threatening way, intimidating all those within the property", the defence said. He confronted Zoe before leaving, and the terrified mum immediately called Duane, who returned to the house.

Zoe then left the house to talk to neighbours and was again confronted in the street by the man, who shouted at her.

Ring doorbell footage played in court showed Duane, armed with two kitchen knives, running out of his house shouting "Get away from my bird now, lad", and chasing the other man away. He and Zoe could then be seen running back to their own property as the man, dressed in a yellow high visibility jacket, pursued them. The couple then called 999.

Duane said: "He was probably about 6ft tall. My missus is only 5ft 1. He had her barricaded against the wall. Me being silly, I ran out with the knife in my hand. I ran up to him and shouted.

"On the day it happened they went to his house and arrested him. That would've been about 5pm. Then they came back about 1am and arrested me because they had the doorbell footage of me running out with the knives in my hand, and long story short they ended up dropping up his charges and arresting me."

He insisted he had no intention of using the knives, and only wanted to scare off the man.

Nevertheless he ended up in court, where Judge Katherine Pierpoint sentenced him to 12 months in prison, suspended for 15 months. She also ordered him to complete 15 rehabilitation days and 80 hours of unpaid work, and to pay £200 court costs.

She accepted Duane had acted in excessive self defence, but said this did not excuse his running out with the blade.

She said: "It seems as a result of social media, something happened with (the man) and he ended up at your address and certainly it was reported to you that he had forced his way into your house where not only your partner was, but also your children. I have seen footage of the man in an agitated state outside your address.

"But the fact is whatever he may have done, the way you dealt with it, not only was it wholly inappropriate, but it was against the law and extremely dangerous. The hospitals in this country see those who are injured by knives or even killed on a sadly regular basis. That's why the carrying of knives is treated as very serious by the courts."

She said he should have called the police instead of taking matters into his own hands, adding: "While it does not excuse what you did, I do accept there is a reason for why you acted like you did. I accept you're remorseful and sorry for what you did and I hope, if there is a confrontation in the future, you do not act like this again."

Following the sentence, Duane said: "I'll do anything to protect my family no matter what it takes. It has been hanging over my head because I didn't know what the outcome could be. It has been stressful because it's been lingering for over a year. I feel disappointed, but happy because I'm home.

He added: "I wasn't in the wrong for protecting my partner, but I was in the wrong for stepping out with a knife. I'm man enough to accept responsibility for that. It's not like I'm in denial, saying I didn't do anything. The judge said herself it was in self defence. But I chose the wrong choice.

"I'll just get back to my normal life now. I'm not really worried about the probation. I'm not a troublemaker. I've been on bail a whole year for this and I've not had once hiccup, so I know not to get into trouble."

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