A burglar whose accomplice was killed in a foiled raid on a Stockport house has been jailed.
Michael Anthony Thorpe (16/6/1978), of Outwood Road, Heald Green, admitted one count of aggravated burglary at an earlier hearing.
On Thursday 9 August 2012, at Minshull Street Crown Court, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with a further five years extended on licence.
At about 7.30pm on Saturday 17 September 2011, Thorpe and 37-year-old Raymond Jacob attended a house on Midland Road, Bramhall, dressed in high visibility jackets.
The occupant, a 39-year-old man who was home alone at the time, opened the door when the men claimed to be gas workers. Thorpe and Jacob - who was armed with as knife - then shouted that they were from 'customs' before rushing in.
The two men then told the victim they were robbing him and demanded cash and personal possessions.
While Thorpe was stealing items from an upstairs bedroom, Jacob took the occupant into his kitchen.
At that point the man's wife and son arrived home and he shouted at them to leave and that they were being robbed.
The two fled the house and his wife ran to a neighbour's house and raised the alarm.
At this point there was a scuffle between Jacob, who was still armed with a knife, and the homeowner who had armed himself with a knife. During the ensuing struggle Raymond Jacob was fatally stabbed.
Thorpe fled the house and drove off in a Citroen van that was parked on nearby Chinley Close. The registration number was noted by a witness and later given to police.
The following day detectives made a media appeal to trace the van and information was received that it had an active tracking device.
At 3.15pm that day the van was traced to Shannon Road, Wythenshawe. Thorpe was driving and was arrested.
During the subsequent investigation the home owner was arrested on suspicion of murdering Raymond Jacob before a decision was ultimately made to take no further action against him.
Senior Investigating Officer, Andy Tattersall, said: "The fact that Thorpe was not armed that night and did not take part in the planning of the burglary is of little significance when you examine the tragic and unnecessary events that unfolded: one man lost his life, another, an innocent home owner, lives with the knowledge that he took it, and a third - Michael Thorpe - will now spend several years behind bars.
"This incident has ended one life and destroyed two others.
"Michael Thorpe was recruited to be the `muscle' for the burglary and while he could in no way have envisaged what would happen, he nonetheless went in the full knowledge that he and Raymond Jacob would commit a criminal act at the home of an innocent man and his family."