Homeowner held after burglar dies from stab wounds


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The Independent Online

A company director was being questioned by police last night in connection with the murder of a suspected intruder who was stabbed to death at his home in Stockport.

Vincent Cooke, 39, a logistics expert, was alone on Saturday evening when two men broke into the large detached house in the affluent suburb of Bramhall and threatened him. Police said his wife Karen and 12-year-old son returned home during the altercation but managed to escape unharmed.

A man in his 30s suffering from serious knife injuries was discovered and treated by paramedics but died. A second man fled the scene in a white Citroen van. A 33-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary and police recovered a van.

Chief Superintendent Tim Forber of Greater Manchester Police said officers had been called following reports of a break-in at around 7.50pm on Midland Road. He said: "Clearly this is a serious incident in which a man has lost his life and at this time we believe the dead man was one of two men who were attempting to carry out a burglary at the house. We will use all the resources available to us to establish the full facts of what has happened."

Last night the Cooke family home was cordoned off as forensic officers investigated the scene. A gold Maserati sports car and a silver luxury Range Rover, both with personalised number plates, were parked outside the property.

Mr Cooke has held a series of positions as a transport manager and company director over the past decade.

Residents living close by said they were stunned by the incident. Dennis Fortune, 33, a father of three, said: "It's terrible. I would defend my home. I've got kids to look after, but I would defend my home all day long. The man must be going through hell."

Floral tributes to the dead man – referred to as "Ray" and "Raymondo" – were left by his family members outside the house. One read: "Love you son. Going to miss you more than anything." One theory is that thieves may have been targeting the family's luxury vehicles and entered the premises in search of keys.