Victim’s family cheers as man who stabbed burglar to death jailed

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After Jordan Brophy was attacked, he was left with two shards of a broken blade lodged in his skull. He died aged 31 as a result of his injuries following the incident in Halewood, Merseyside in October last year.

Yesterday afternoon, August 4, Karl Townsend was cleared of his murder by a jury of six men and six women.

However, he was convicted of manslaughter by a majority of 10 to two and returned to Liverpool Crown Court for sentence today, reports The Liverpool Echo.

Judge Andrew Menary handed him 19 years and described it as “quite dreadful offending” and the sentence “must reflect that”.

Sentencing, the Honourary Recorder of Liverpool said: “On that night, soon after you had left and while your partner and child were out the house, Jordan Brophy and three other accomplices broke into your house.

“This was plainly a targeted attack, a smash and grab where the burglars arrived in convoy, were not concerned about making a noise and did not expect to be in the house for very long.

“They were after your stash of controlled drugs. I’ve no doubt your principal source of income was dealing in class A and B drugs. No other explanation makes any sense.

“What resulted was the sort of violent encounter which so often accompanies this type of activity. You were provoked by Jordan Brophy’s audacious actions, but your response was not justified.

“You stabbed Jordan Brophy multiple times to the head, face and arms. He stood no chance at all. Twice the knife broke off in his skull, blinding him in one eye.

“He tried to flee the scene but again was caught by you in the street where you repeatedly stabbed him in the neck. The notion you were at any stage acting in reasonable self-defence is frankly absurd.

“Jordan Brophy was no angel, but whatever he was doing he plainly did not deserve to die as he did. He was a loved and cherished son, partner and uncle.

“Their lives have been damaged irreparably.”

The trial – which opened on what would have been Mr Brophy’s 32nd birthday last month – previously heard Townsend had left his home on Beechwood Avenue for his mum’s house on nearby Penmann Crescent in his Mercedes GLA shortly after 6.25pm on October 29 2021.

The property was left empty at that time, with Townsend’s girlfriend Amelia Rigby having been walking the dog with the couple’s three-year-old child.

Within minutes, Mr Brophy arrived in a Mercedes A-Class in a convoy of three vehicles.

He and two other accomplices then smashed through a rear door in order to gain entry as a getaway driver lay in wait.

Townsend became aware of the burglary after his Ring doorbell sent a notification to his phone, and he and his 23-year-old half-brother Jamie Cunningham “hurriedly made their way to the scene” armed with knives.

Mr Brophy suffered “multiple stab wounds” inside, some of which “would almost certainly have proved fatal on their own”.

He was knifed in the outer edge of his left eye, with the weapon severing his right optic nerve and piercing the skull on both sides. The blade was “wielded with such force” that it snapped, with a portion of the knife remaining lodged in his brain.

Mr Brophy was then stabbed again “a number of times” before another blow entered just above the right eyebrow, leaving a further section of the knife behind. Townsend is then said to have “attempted to run him over in a car”, but missed and crashed into a garden wall.

The prosecution said the burglar was then pinned against a Fiat 500 and stabbed in the neck three times with the “remnant” of the same knife. An ultimately fatal blow severed his jugular vein, causing “immediate and catastrophic blood loss”.

Cunningham, of Penmann Crescent, had previously been on trial accused of possession of a bladed article but later admitted this charge. He was cleared of murder during an earlier trial, during which the jury failed to reach a verdict regarding the same charge on Townsend.

Cunningham was spared jail over the “considerable time” he spent in custody.

Judge Menary said: “But for the fact he spent a considerable time in custody on remand, he would be going to prison today.”

Judge Menary says of Cunningham: “You’re young, I’ve no doubt you were led into this by your older brother.”

He was handed a two-year community order with a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Both were told to pay victim surcharges.

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