One of the men allegedly involved in a burglary during which a career criminal was stabbed

to death by a homeowner has been charged

Michael Anthony Thorpe, 33, of Outwood Road, Heald Green, Manchester, has been charged with aggravated burglary and will appear at Stockport Magistrates' Court today.

He was arrested after two men forced their way into the home of Vincent Cooke on Saturday night in Bramhall, Stockport.

Thorpe's alleged accomplice, Raymond Jacob, from south Manchester, who died in a struggle with homeowner Vincent Cooke, had multiple convictions for burglary, robbery and theft, and once served an 18-month prison sentence for beating a man unconscious and leaving him looking “like a piece of meat”.

Cooke, who was arrested on suspicion of murder after the stabbing at his home on Saturday, was released on police bail yesterday.


Police believe Jacob may have been responsible for a number of unsolved burglaries in recent months which are currently under investigation.

Ch Supt Rebekah Sutcliffe, of Greater Manchester Police, said the force was “considering any similar incidents in recent weeks or months”.

Meanwhile, Cooke's cousin Andrew Toner, 50, said: “He is a family man who was forced to defend his property. The family are sticking up for him, damn right too.

“He was protecting his wife and child. He has a right to defend his own house, big time.”

Asked about the stabbing, Mr Clegg said: “The law is very clear: you have every right to defend yourself, your home, your property, your family.

“The law is really unambiguous on that and no one should feel they haven't got a right to do that.”