Man who killed intruder cleared of murder

A man who killed an intruder and seriously injured another after they broke into his house armed with a gun was cleared of murder yesterday.

Samuel Quamina, 49, told police he was confronted by three men armed with a pistol and a metal steering lock at his home in Peckham, south east London.

He armed himself with two kitchen knives and stabbed and slashed at them as they attempted to grab his gold necklace and rings.

Perry Nelson Jr, 24, of Norbury, south London, suffered a fatal stab wound and died at King's College Hospital after running from the bungled raid.

His 41-year-old alleged accomplice suffered a stab wound to the back and a third man, aged 38, escaped unharmed.

The Metropolitan Police investigated the incident and Quamina was charged with murder and grievous bodily harm four days later.

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman confirmed Quamina was acquitted of both counts today at Croydon Crown Court.

The case is the latest to highlight the difficulties of balancing the use of self-defence with the right for all to be protected from violence.

Last month Tory leader David Cameron fuelled the debate by saying burglars leave their human rights at the door when they break in to a property.

He said only those who use "grossly disproportionate force" should be put in the dock and that his party will review the law.

Prosecutors have insisted that householders are able to use "reasonable force" to defend themselves and protect their property.

Businessman Munir Hussain was freed from prison on appeal in January after being jailed for using a cricket bat to batter an intruder.

The violent and chaotic 30-second ordeal took place at Quamina's Southampton Way flat about 8pm on September 10 last year.

Quamina told police he suspected the attack was set up by a fourth man, an acquaintance of his, who arrived earlier to borrow a CD.

He said he was a religious man who lived a peaceful life and only lashed out with knives in self-defence.

In a statement, he told investigators two music speakers fell from a wall in the brawl, disarming his attackers.

Mr Quamina said he was "terrified" and thought the three men wanted to rob and kill him in the sudden attack.