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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 15:23 GMT
Man killed burglar in self defence
John Lambert's home in Spalding
Mr Taylor broke into a couple's home
A homeowner stabbed a burglar to death in self defence, an inquest jury has found.

John Lambert and his wife Carol feared for their lives when Darren Taylor and an accomplice sneaked into their Lincolnshire home.

Burglar Mr Taylor was high on drink and drugs when he was stabbed with his own knife, the inquest at Spalding Magistrates' Court heard.


As a family we feel that all those involved have suffered enough

Mr Taylor's family
On Friday the jury returned a verdict of lawful killing of the 30-year-old.

Mr Taylor and his accomplice Ian Reed had threatened the couple with a knife as they sat watching television in their bungalow in Spalding in February.

They had held a knife to Mrs Lambert's throat as they demanded 5,000.

In an ensuing struggle between Mr Taylor and Mr Lambert the burglar was stabbed seven times and left with a fatal knife wound to his chest.

Burglar jailed

Reed, of Deeping St James, Lincolnshire, was jailed for eight years in June after admitting robbery.

Darren Taylor
Darren Taylor died of stab wounds

Reed was wounded in the struggle in which Mr Taylor, of Lancaster Way, Market Deeping, Lincs, was killed.

The judge in that trial said no blame could be attached to the 58-year-old grandfather.

"It is understandable that Mr Lambert fought for what he held dear," he said at the time.

In June the Crown Prosecution Service said no charges would be brought against Mr Lambert.

Condolences offered

After Friday's inquest a statement was issued on behalf of the Lamberts by solicitor Howard Wells.

"Mr Lambert regrets that the actions of Darren Taylor and Ian Reed forced him to act in self defence and in defence of his wife that night.

Ian Reed
Reed was jailed for eight years
"It has been very difficult indeed for Mr and Mrs Lambert to rebuild their lives since the attack on them in February.

"They recognise and understand the distress that the events of February 10, 2002 have caused to Darren Taylor's family and would like to extend their condolences to them."

Mr Taylor's parents Angie and Peter and sister Nicola now want to put events behind them.

In a statement they said: "As a family we feel that all those involved have suffered enough.

"We have always said that we did not want Mr Lambert punished for his actions and we empathise with them both for the situation they found themselves in that evening.

"None of us will ever forget what happened but hopefully we can all find some peace in time".


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17 Jun 02 | England
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