Murder hunt after burglar stabs householder

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Detectives are hunting a burglar who stabbed and killed a man who chased him from his home.

Detectives are hunting a burglar who stabbed and killed a man who chased him from his home.

Neighbours heard the victim screaming as he fell dying in a back garden of the affluent Middlesex suburb.

He is believed to have interrupted the raider after arriving home from a night out with his wife.

Police say the dead man, a builder in his 60s, gave chase by climbing over at least two of his neighbours' garden fences.

They believe he may have cornered his killer.

Detectives have sealed off the semi-detached mock Tudor home, estimated to be worth around £350,000, and 10 neighbouring houses in Uxbridge Road, Pinner, west London.

Officers tried to revive the victim but he was pronounced dead at the scene at about 10pm yesterday.

Police helicopters and sniffer dogs searched the area in a vain bid to find the assailant.

Neighbour Jack Craigie-Williams said: "I heard someone crashing through the fence in my garden but at first it was so loud that I thought it was fireworks going off.

"There was a lot of commotion and I am very sad to hear what has happened."

Another neighbour said she heard a man giving chase. She added: "I heard a lot of screaming and then there were two yells, as if someone was in agony.

"I am absolutely shocked that something like this should happen here. It is a very well-to-do area and we never get any trouble."

The woman, who did not want to give her name, said the victim, who has not been named, was a family man with a number of children and grandchildren.

Forensic experts were dusting the front windows and examining the inside of the property for clues.

Scotland Yard confirmed a murder inquiry has been launched and was being dealt with by the Serious Crime Group.

Detective Inspector George Couch, who is leading the hunt, said it appeared the dead man had chased the intruder out of his house and across three back gardens.

It is understood the builder would have had to scale at least two fences before confronting his killer.

"Something happened in that last garden and he was stabbed," Mr Couch said.

Solicitor Tony Partree, another neighbour said: "He was quite a stocky fellow but he was not the aggressive type.

"You could tell he was a real family man."

Police said his wife was being cared for by relatives in the Watford area.

Scotland Yard refused to say how many times he was stabbed.