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Heart attack victim challenged raiders

A MAN and a youth have been given custodial sentences for their involvement in an attempted theft which resulted in a man dying of a heart attack.

A MAN and a youth have been given custodial sentences for their involvement in an attempted theft which resulted in a man dying of a heart attack.

Ian Raymond Turner, 20, of Bluebell Close, Winnington, and a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both admitted going equipped to steal from lock-up garages behind houses in Townfield Lane, Barnton, during the night of Thursday, July 26.

'Mr Turner and his co-defendant went with a pair of bolt-croppers and a torch to break into garages at the rear of Townfield Lane,' said Linda Oldham, prosecuting Turner, at Northwich Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

'They were disturbed by a householder who unfortunately had a heart complaint and, as a result of going outside and confronting them, he had a heart attack and died.'

The householder, 58-year-old Peter Owens, suffered from a pre-existing heart complaint. prosecution and defence solicitors later agreed there was no evidence a confrontation had actually taken place.

The court heard the pair were originally arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, but this was not pursued.

Chris Johnson, defending Turner, said: 'These two young men parked their car late at night outside a row of houses on Townfield Lane.

'It was their intention to crop a padlock on a garage and see if there was anything to steal.

'They were not exactly quiet about it, a householder shouted at them from a window and this was enough to cause them to run for it.

'They ran through a passageway to their car, but when they got to the end of the passageway a man was coming into the front of that same passageway.

'He shouted something like 'I've got you now.' They did not argue or confront this man in any way whatsoever ­ they turned and ran away.'

The court heard Mr Owens collapsed in front of the defendants' car.

Turner and the youth didn't know whether or not he had chased them, as they had simply run off when they saw him. It wasn't until later that they learned about the tragedy.

'Mr Johnson added: 'Turner was perfectly frank when interviewed and was upset and contrite. He had obviously not considered that anybody would be affected in the way this person had been. He feels awful about it.'

The 17-year-old defendant's case was heard separately in a youth court.

'He was arrested and interviewed and fully admitted going to the garages intending to break in and steal property,' said Jayne Morris, prosecuting.

Quentin Querelle, defending the youth, said: 'My client was not going there for money, but for something to do.

'Certainly there was no intention that anybody should be hurt or injured. He has accepted moral responsibility and he would wish me to express sympathy to the family in an open court.'

The youth was sentenced to a four month detention and training order and Turner to two months imprisonment.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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