Serial burglar guilty of murdering ex-Navy officer killed during car theft

Updated: 

A serial burglar has been convicted of the murder of an ex-Royal Navy officer who he ran over after a botched house burglary.

The jury at Manchester Crown Court took three and half hours to convict Ryan Gibbons, 29, who killed Mike Samwell as his wife Jessica watched in horror.

Gibbons puffed out his cheeks and glanced towards his family as the verdict was delivered, while Mrs Samwell, supported by her husband's family, quietly wept.

She held her husband's hand, telling him she loved him as he lay dying from catastrophic crush injuries to his chest and heart after the burglary in April.

The couple were woken in the dead of night as Gibbons broke into their £450,000 house in Chorlton, south Manchester, snatching the keys to Mr Samwell's Audi S3 sports car from the kitchen table.

Gibbons, of Steven Court, Chorlton, had pleaded guilty to burglary and aggravated vehicle taking but denied murder.

He told the jury he did not see Mr Samwell, or deliberately run over him, but heard "screaming" and thought, "something had gone under the wheel" before speeding off.

He said the plan was to sell the stolen Audi - worth £36,000 - for £2,000.

But jurors did not believe the defendant.

The victim's widow, father and brother sat through the three-week trial.

Giving evidence earlier, Mrs Samwell sobbed as she told the jury: "When I got to him he had tyre marks across his chest.

"I was shouting, 'Help! Help! Somebody help me!'

"I was just telling him that I loved him and holding his hand."