Burglar's father defends right to protect property

The father of a suspected burglar who was stabbed to death after an attempted break-in has said he hoped he would have the "guts" to defend his property.

John Bennell, 27, from Hyde, Greater Manchester, died from a stab wound to the chest after four masked men tried to break in the back door of a terraced house in Salford at midnight on Wednesday.



Today, Mr Bennell's father Gary, 52, stood up for the right of householders to protect their property.



He told The Sun: "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, he said, his wife was "broken-hearted" by what had happened.



Householder Peter Flanagan, 59, was arrested on suspicion of murder following Mr Bennell's death.



Yesterday, he was bailed to July 25 pending further inquiries.



His son Neil, 27, and a 21-year-old woman were also arrested but have since been released.



Meanwhile, police have arrested another man in connection with the incident on suspicion of burglary.



The 30-year-old, from the Tameside area, was arrested yesterday and is in police custody, Greater Manchester Police said.



Officers were earlier granted an extension of 36 hours to question Mr Flanagan, before he was bailed.



Police sources have confirmed that Mr Bennell had been arrested in Tamworth, Staffordshire, earlier this month on suspicion of burglary.



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



It is believed he was carried from the house in Ethel Avenue, Salford, to a nearby street after being stabbed in the break-in.



Police were first alerted by a frantic 999 call from a woman to reports of a burglary at the house, then a second call to reports of an injured man being carried along the street nearby.



Mr Bennell was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. A post-mortem examination confirmed he died as a result of a knife wound to the chest.



Police have made an appeal to the public to try to trace his accomplices.



The incident comes after Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to bring in stronger measures to protect homeowners defending their property.



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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'