Maybe we could do an exchange and get some of our wet, crim hugging judges over there.
A businessman arrested on suspicion of murder after he stabbed a burglar to death was backed by a judge yesterday who said â€œit is natural to put up a fightâ€™â€™.
Vincent Cooke, 39, was held after Raymond Jacob, 37, suffered knife wounds after he broke into Mr Cookeâ€™s home in Bramhall, near Stockport, Greater Manchester, last September. Jacob held a knife to Mr Cookeâ€™s throat and forced him to go to the study and kitchen in a search for jewellery and cash. When Mr Cookeâ€™s wife Karen, 34, and son Anthony, 12, returned home, Mr Cooke seized a carving knife and repeatedly stabbed Jacob.
Mr Cooke, who said he acted in lawful self-defence, was questioned for 12 hours and released without charge. He was kept on bail for almost a month until he was told he would not be charged.
Jacobâ€™s accomplice, Michael Thorpe, 33, of Heald Green, Manchester, was jailed for 10 years at Minshull Street Crown Court after admitting aggravated burglary.
The judge told Thorpe: â€œFor anyone who lends themselves to an enterprise of this nature, it would be perfectly obvious that you would scare the victim with a knife by brandishing it and it was foreseeable that it might be used.
â€œIt is natural to put up a fight, that is what happened in the kitchen, the complainant came upon a knife, not surprisingly in the kitchen, and sought to defend himself and his property and it was after that struggle between the two men that your accomplice was stabbed.â€™â€™