Ring doorbell murder suspect cleared in court but brother set for retrial

Half-brothers Karl Townsend and Jamie Cunningham were on trial accused of the murder of Jordan Brophy after he and three others broke in Townsend’s family home

Jordan Brophy, 31, was fatally stabbed in Halewood as he tried to break into a house

A man accused of murdering a burglar has been cleared after a jury failed to reach a verdict on the charges.

Karl Townsend and Jamie Cunningham were on trial accused of murdering Jordan Brophy in Beechwood Avenue, Halewood, Merseyside, after he and three other men broke into the home Townsend shared with his partner and their child.

The 32-year-old was alerted to the break-in after the Ring doorbell installed in his home was activated by the burglars and sent an alert to Townsend’s phone.

In court, prosecutors alleged that Townsend and Cunningham went to the house armed with knives and stabbed Mr Brophy to death.

Richard Pratt, QC, prosecuting, described Mr Brophy’s death as an attack carried out by Townsend for “revenge or punishment” and said Cunningham was crucial in carrying it out.

Police Scientific Support on Beechwood Avenue, Halewood after Brophy was stabbed


Liverpool echo)

Townsend, 32, admitted causing Mr Brophy’s death but said he was acting in self-defence and feared for the safety of his partner and their child.

Townsend and his half brother have both been on trial at Liverpool Crown Court for the last three weeks.

Prosecutors alleged that Townsend then attacked Mr Brophy twice, once inside his home when he found him there and another a few minutes later outside on Beechwood Avenue.

Townsend is said to have stabbed in the head and arm, before twice knifing him in the face. One stab wound went through his left optic nerve and damaged his temporal lobe.

Townsend said that just before he inflicted this wound Mr Brophy threatened and lunged at him with a knife and another of the burglars pointed a gun at him.

Prosecutors disputed the presence of a gun or the claim that Townsend was threatened.

They stood accused of murder and possession of a bladed article but Cunningham, 23, was cleared of the more serious charge after almost nine hours of deliberations.

Despite being given more time to consider the case, jurors were today unable to reach a verdict on either charge against Townsend or the possession charge against Cunningham.

Brophy and three others broke into Townsend’s family home


Liverpool echo)

The city’s top judge, Andrew Menary, QC, discharged them this afternoon.

Prosecutors confirmed they intend to pursue a retrial of Townsend but said they will consider what to do about the possession charge against Cunningham later.

The case has been listed for a further hearing later this month where prosecutors will provide an update.

Mr Brophy had multiple previous convictions for carrying knives and threatening to stab people with them.

During the break-in, jurors were told how a cat was stabbed as well.

In closing, Nick Cockrell, defending Townsend, read a series of background facts that have so far not been heard by the jury.

They were told that when police investigators arrived at Townsend’s Beechwood Avenue home after the unfolded incident they discovered the family cat, Cally, with what appeared to be a stab wound.

An officer subsequently took the animal to a vet who confirmed she had a knife wound about 3cm to 4cm deep close to her spine.

He said: “Her opinion was that it was caused by a deliberate action that would have taken some moderate force.”

There was no conclusion about who stabbed the cat and Mr Cockrell said she had subsequently recovered. Mr Cockrell also revealed to jurors that Mr Brophy had a number of convictions involving knives.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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