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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 19:51 GMT
Man jailed for football fan's murder
Paul Branchflower
Branchflower said he did not intend to kill Mr Ellis
A thief who stole a Manchester United fan's car before running him over and killing him has been jailed for life for murder.

Paul Branchflower, 19, of no fixed address, was convicted by a jury at Manchester Crown Court of killing Glynn Ellis.

Mr Ellis, 46, of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, was run over outside his brother's home in St Lawrence Quay, Salford Quays, in August 2002.

He had left his Ford Mondeo there after going to watch United beat Zalaegerszegi 5-0 in a Champions League match at nearby Old Trafford.

The court was told he had left the engine running as he went to close the garage door.

Branchflower - who had 47 pervious convictions - got into the car but ran over Mr Ellis as he tried to drive away.

He lost his life, and his family who treasured him suffered a grievous loss
Mr Justice Grigson
Paramedics were called by a passer-by but Mr Ellis died at the scene.

A post-mortem examination later revealed he died as a result of severe head injuries.

Sentencing Branchflower to life in prison, Mr Justice Grigson said: "You saw this car with its lights on and engine running and you must have known that the owner was nearby.

"But you couldn't resist the temptation to take that car and doing that took the risk of a confrontation with Mr Ellis and by that deliberate action you unlawfully killed him.

"He lost his life and his family who treasured him suffered a grievous loss."

Denied murder

Branchflower was also sentenced to three years for aggravated vehicle taking.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Duffy, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Although the person responsible for the events that led to the death of Glynn Ellis has been placed behind bars it is of very little comfort to his family who have lost a loving son and brother.

"I would like to thank all of the officers who have done a fantastic job of bringing this case to court today."

Branchflower had admitted manslaughter and aggravated vehicle taking but denied murder, saying he did not intend to kill Mr Ellis.

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