Burglar jailed for murdering former Royal Navy officer

image copyrightGMP
image captionRyan Gibbons (left) was earlier convicted of murder and Raymond Davies was found guilty of manslaughter

A burglar who killed a former Royal Navy officer by running him over with his own car has been ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years in prison.

Ryan Gibbons, 29, was found guilty of murdering Mike Samwell, 35, after breaking into his home in Chorlton, Manchester and stealing his car.

Gibbons admitted the theft but denied deliberately driving over Mr Samwell.

Mr Samwell's wife said the image of her husband injured and in pain will stay with her forever.

image copyrightGMP
image captionMike Samwell, who was a nuclear engineer, was woken by the sound of a burglary

Raymond Davies, 21, of Castlefield Walk, Manchester, who collected Gibbons, of Steven Court, after he crashed and dumped the Audi S3 sports car was sentenced to eight years after being found guilty of manslaughter.

In a victim statement read in court, Mr Samwell's wife Jessica said: "He was a loving and caring husband. Patient and kind."

The image of her husband lying injured and groaning with pain will be with her for the rest of her life, she said.

The couple's house was meant to be their "forever home" but she said should could not bear to go back there.

"I feel overwhelming grief for the future we will never have," she added.

image copyrightGMP
image captionThe stolen car was later found dumped

The court had earlier heard Mr Samwell, a nuclear engineer, and his wife woke to the sound of burglars breaking into their home on Cranbourne Road, on 23 April, taking the keys to the car from the kitchen table.

Mr Samwell ran downstairs in his boxer shorts to confront Gibbons as he was driving off, shouting "Get out of the car" but was run over.

His wife followed him out of the house and found her husband on his back with tyre marks on his chest and "blood coming out of his head".

She held his hand and told him she loved him as he lay dying from "catastrophic" chest and heart injuries.

image copyrightHandout/MEN Media
image captionMr Samwell's wife Jessica said he was a "caring husband"

Passing sentence at Manchester Crown Court Mr Justice William Davis said: "You knew you were running over Mr Samwell, you did it deliberately.

"You are a dangerous young man, you are a regular burglar and on this occasion, to get what you wanted, you quite ruthlessly killed a man."

Gibbons gave no reaction to his sentence but there were gasps from his family in the public gallery and one said "You're joking", before his father shouted "Love you, son".

Det Ch Insp Lewis Hughes said: "How many of us would have done the same thing in Mike's position, protecting our home and our loved ones from people like Gibbons and Davies?"

He said the thieves "actively chose to evade police".

"The word tragedy is used too often these days, but no other word seems right to describe the utter devastation this pair left behind in their determination to steal from the Samwells," he added.

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