Company director arrested after 'intruder' is killed at his home

 

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The Independent Online

A company director has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the killing of a suspected intruder who was stabbed to death at his home in Stockport.

Logistics expert Vincent Cooke, 39, was alone on Saturday evening when two men broke into the large detached house in a leafy street 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 thirties suffering from serious knife injuries was discovered and treated by paramedics but died. Reports last night named the man as Raymond Jacob. A second man, described as 6ft tall and of large build, fled the scene in a white Citroen van which had been parked nearby. 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 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 that the dead man was one of two men who were attempt- ing to carry out a burglary at the house."

It is the third incident in Greater Manchester in the past four months in which someone has been arrested after apparently killing an intruder. In the two previous cases the charges were subsequently dropped. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has said that those acting to protect themselves in their homes or businesses have the right to use whatever force necessary – even a knife. The Government is in the process of clarifying the law on self-defence.

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 as police continued their investigations.

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

Floral tributes to the dead man – referred to locally as "Ray" and "Raymondo" – were being left last night by members of his family outside the house where he was killed. One of the messages read: "Love you son. Going to miss you more than anything."