Father ‘stabs burglar to death after doorbell alarm shows he’s raiding family home’

Karl Townsend, 32, and his half-brother Jamie Cunningham, 23, both deny murder and possession of a bladed object as their trial begins at Liverpool Crown Court

Karl Townsend denies murder and possession of a bladed item
Karl Townsend denies murder and possession of a bladed item

A father stabbed a burglar to death after watching three of them raid his home through his Ring doorbell camera, a court has heard.

Karl Townsend and his half-brother Jamie Cunningham are said to have armed themselves with knives after seeing the ring doorbell alarm on his property in Halewood, Merseyside.

Mr Townsend is said to have yelled at three intruders to leave his home before stabbing Jordan Brophy, 31, in the face and head.

Prosecutors say one of those stabs went through Mr. Brophy’s eye, leaving a broken blade in his brain.

They allege that Mr Townsend and Mr Cunningham left the scene of the crime but returned shortly after as Townsend then pricked Mr Brophy in his carotid artery. Liverpool Echo reports.

Police at the scene following the death of Joseph Brophy last October


Liverpool Echo WS)

Mr Townsend, 32, and Mr Cunningham, 23, both deny murder and possession of a bladed object.

They were brought to trial at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday.

Richard Pratt, QC, Prosecutor, said: “The prosecution’s case is that this was not a case of a homeowner in a state of fear and panic who reacted in a moment of terror to what he believed to be a real danger.

“This was a brutal and reckless killing of a defenseless man, whether in revenge or punishment.”

Karl Townsend and his half-brother Jamie Cunningham reportedly armed themselves with knives after being alerted to a burglary


Liverpool Echo WS)

In October last year, Mr Townsend was with his half-brother at his parents’ home when he received a warning through his CCTV that a break-in had taken place at his home, the court heard.

Mr Townsend left his home in his Mercedes GLA at 6.26pm and minutes later three cars were traveling “in what appeared to be a convoy” on the same road.

One or more of those cars were carrying Mr Brophy and “three unidentified associates” to carry out “a determined and apparently targeted attack” on Townsend’s home, prosecutors said.

The three forced open a side door while the fourth waited in another car parked nearby.

Mr Townsend and Mr Cunningham made their way to the house “in a hurry” after the doorbell alarm went off and they “armed themselves with big knives”, Mr Pratt said.

He said: “As they entered, Karl Townsend could be heard shouting at the burglars to get out of his house or he will do something to them with the knife he is carrying – the actual word is not clear, captured on an audio track too the CCTV recordings.

“What actually happened in the house is not recorded by any camera.

“But 25 seconds after the two defendants entered the property, the burglars were seen coming in through the back door and Jordan Brophy complained that he couldn’t see and that he had some sort of facial injury in the area of ​​his eye.

“There was a reason he couldn’t see. Karl Townsend had stabbed him twice in the face and head.

“The stabbing actions were so violent that they worked their way through bone and cartilage, in one case severing the optic nerve and entering the brain.

“The thrusting motion was so great that the knife broke not once but twice, and broken parts of the blade lodged in Jordan Brophy’s skull and brain.”

The prosecutor added: “Now I would like to make it clear ladies and gentlemen that burglary is of course a despicable crime and can bring misery to those who come back and find that their homes have been breached.

“It must be even worse to find the perpetrators still in the house.

“But that cannot justify this level of serious violence.

“But even worse, even after stabbing Jordan Brophy with such force that Karl Townsend was left with what was left of a broken knife, Karl Townsend wasn’t done.”

The court heard that he and his half-brother walked out the front door and drove away, but returned in less than a minute and crashed into a wall in front of another house on the street.

Mr Pratt said prosecutors alleged that Mr Townsend was holding a knife – the same knife he had previously used to stab Mr Brophy – and what the neighbor believed to be blows were stabs, one of which was about 4.5cm penetrated deeply into Mr Brophy’s throat and carotid artery, resulting in “catastrophic blood loss”.

He said: “According to the pathologist who performed the autopsy, Jordan Brophy would have died in time from brain injuries sustained at home, but the carotid artery killed him almost instantly.”

Mr Pratt said it was the prosecution’s case that Mr Townsend caused Mr Brophy’s death, adding: “As far as we understand it is uncontested.”

However, he said Cunningham “has a responsibility too”.

Mr Pratt claimed Mr Cunningham “clearly and intentionally supported and encouraged” his half-brother with intent either to kill Mr Brophy or cause him really serious harm.

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