Three armed robbers who were confronted by a 72-year-old man who stabbed to death their accomplice in self-defence when they raided his florist shop were jailed today, police said.
Joseph Junior Mullings, 24, of Oakfield, Liverpool, Kyle Mullings, 19, of no fixed abode, and Nathan Walters, 26, of Thorn Court, Salford, were sentenced to indeterminate sentences at Bolton Crown Court today after pleading guilty to charges of robbery and possession of firearms.
Joseph Junior Mullings was ordered to serve at least five years, Kyle Mullings will serve a minumum of three and a half years, and Nathan Walters will be in jail for five years and seven months before he is considered for parole.
All three were also sentenced to five years each for the firearms offences, which will run concurrently with their sentences for robbery.
The case received widespread publicity after shopkeeper Cecil Coley was arrested on suspicion of murdering a fourth man who took part in the attack, 30-year-old Gary Mullings from New Moston.
But the CPS decided not to charge Mr Coley after determining that he had acted in self-defence during the robbery at his shop on Shrewsbury Street in Old Trafford, Manchester, on July 26 last year.
Greater Manchester Police said the three Mullings brothers and Nathan Walters had knocked at the front door as Mr Coley and a 67-year-old man were leaving the shop.
They forced their way in carrying handguns, beat both victims, took money and forced rings from Mr Coley's fingers.
A struggle ensued and Gary Mullings received a fatal stab wound to the chest, while Kyle Mullings sustained stab wounds to his lower back.
Senior investigating officer Andy Tattersall said: "Both men were confronted by the offenders who were armed and determined to steal money for their own selfish gain.
"Their main priority was to intimidate their victim and they did not care how their actions would affect him.
"It is very sad that someone lost their life after that night and the emergency services did all they could to revive the man.
"The victim was subject to a police investigation which was widely publicised and he was fully cooperative throughout.
"Hopefully today's sentencing can go some way towards helping him rebuild his life and forget about what happened that night."