Man Who Killed Burglar Will Not Be Charged

A man who stabbed a burglar to death at his home in Salford has been released without charge, police and the CPS have confirmed.

John Bennell, 27, died after breaking into Peter Flanagan's property on June 22.

He was stabbed in the chest during a struggle at the property in Ethel Avenue, Pendlebury.

Mr Flanagan, 59, was arrested along with his son Neil, 27, and his 21-year-old girlfriend but none of them will face charges.

Bennell, from Hyde, Greater Manchester, is thought to be one of four masked men who apparently tried to break into the back door of the terraced house.

Police sources later confirmed Mr Bennell had been arrested in Tamworth, Staffordshire, earlier in June on suspicion of burglary.

He was held in custody overnight and then released by Staffordshire Police pending further inquiries.

The stabbing came just days after Prime Minister David Cameron promised stronger support for people protecting their property from burglars.

He said: "We will put beyond doubt that homeowners and small shopkeepers who use reasonable force to defend themselves or their properties will not be prosecuted."

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, said: "I am satisfied that Peter Flanagan acted in self-defence after being woken by noises downstairs in his house shortly before midnight.

"On investigating the disturbance, he was confronted by intruders, one of whom was armed with a machete.

"People are entitled to use reasonable force in self-defence to defend themselves, their family and their property.

"All the evidence indicates that in the frightening circumstances that he faced, Mr Flanagan did what he honestly and instinctively believed was necessary to protect himself and his home from intruders."

Speaking to The Sun last month, Mr Bennell's father, Gary, 52, stood up for the right of householders to protect their property.

He said: "I'd hope I'd have the guts to protect my property. I know things can get out of hand, but you're entitled to protect your property."

He described how his son had become estranged from him and his wife, Diane, 56, but said his wife was "broken-hearted" by what had happened.

Three men from Greater Manchester have been charged with aggravated burglary in connection with the incident and are due to appear in court in September.

An inquest into the death will be held in November.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting