Dad Accused Of Killing Burglar By Stabbing Him After Being Alerted By Ring Doorbell Camera
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A man is on trial for the fatal stabbing of a burglar he was alerted to via a Ring doorbell camera.
Dad-of-one Karl Townsend, 32, allegedly watched intruders raiding his family's house before he and his half brother Jamie Cunningham, 23, armed themselves with knives and rushed to the property in Halewood, Knowsley.
A court heard how Townsend shouted at three intruders to get out of his home before stabbing Jordan Brophy, 31, in the face and head.
Prosecutors said a broken blade was left embedded in Brophy's brain, adding that the pair left the scene before returning where Townsend then stabbed Brophy in his jugular vein.
Townsend and Cunningham both went on trial at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday, 25 April, where they denied charges of murder and possession of a bladed article.
Richard Pratt, QC, prosecuting, said: "The prosecution case is that this was not a case of a householder in a state of fear and panic, reacting in a moment of terror to what he believed to be real danger.
“This was a brutal and ruthless killing, whether it be out of revenge or punishment, of a defenceless man."
Pratt described how Townsend had been out with his girlfriend and their child on 29 October last year when Brophy and ‘three unknown associates’ broke into the property while a ‘convoy’ of cars waited nearby.
After Townsend and Cunningham were made aware by a CCTV security system involving a Ring doorbell, the court heard how they ‘hurriedly’ made their way to the house ‘armed with large knives’.
Pratt said: "As they entered, Karl Townsend can be heard to shout to the burglars to get out of his house or he'll do something to them with the knife he's carrying – the actual word is not clear, captured on an audio track to the CCTV footage.
"What actually happened inside the house is not captured by any camera. But 25 seconds after the two defendants enter into the property, the burglars were seen to emerge from the back door, and Jordan Brophy was complaining that he could not see, and he had some sort of injury to his face in the region of his eye.
"There was a reason he could not see. Karl Townsend had stabbed him twice to the face and head.
“The stabbing actions were so severe that they smashed their way through bone and cartilage and in one case severed the optic nerve and entered the brain.
“Such was the thrusting action that the knife broke not once but twice, leaving broken parts of the blade embedded in his skull and brain of Jordan Brophy."
The QC argued that while ‘burglary is a despicable crime’, it ‘cannot begin to justify this level of severe violence’.
“But what is worse, is that even after he had stabbed Jordan Brophy with such force as to leave him with only the remnants of a broken knife in his hand, Karl Townsend had not finished,” he said.
The court heard how he and his half brother drove away as Brophy’s associates went to their car.
But Brophy became separated from the group as Townsend and Cunningham returned, with Pratt describing how Townsend continued to attack the intruder before stabbing him in his jugular vein.
The QC said it was the prosecution case that Townsend caused Mr Brophy's death, but that Cunningham ‘bears responsibility too’.
The trial continues.