A mother was stabbed in ‘purported self-defence’ by the occupier of a home after going to collect money.

Deborah Twist, known as ‘Debbie’ by family and friends, died on March 17, 2019, aged 47.

Bolton Coroners Court heard how Deborah, who lived on Devon Street, Leigh, had been celebrating her son’s 25th birthday with friends and family at a pub on the day of her death.

They decided to go and collect money from a house on Manchester Road, Leigh, but Deborah suffered a ‘fatal stab wound’ to her chest, dying later the same night at Salford Royal Hospital.

Her daughter, Bethany Twist, told the inquest of family life with her mum.

She said: “My mother was the only parent in my life, I did not know my dad.”

Deborah had been an ‘active volunteer’ in her local community, working for a number of local charities.

Her daughter said she was ‘well-known and well-liked’ in the area, had a ‘good network of family and friends’ and was ‘very sociable’.

Bethany went on to describe the events of March 17, 2019.

She said: “March 17 was my brother Jordan’s 25th birthday, so obviously a few of us went out to celebrate.

“We went out at about 2pm to the Canal Turn pub in Leigh, everything was going well.”

After drinking at a few pubs, they returned to Deborah’s home on Devon Street.

Bethany spoke of the family’s need to “collect money from a guy on Manchester Road”. Deborah left to collect the money.

Bethany said: “After around five minutes of mum leaving the house, I had a worried feeling.”

She sent a friend round to Manchester Road to see what was happening at the house. Soon after, the friend rang back saying Deborah “had been stabbed”, to which Bethany ran to the house.

She said: “I heard Jordan (Winstanley, her half-brother) shouting. There was blood everywhere on my mum.

“I told her to keep fighting, she wasn’t talking or breathing.”

Deborah was taken to Salford Royal Hospital by paramedics soon after. She was pronounced dead at 9.37pm on March 17.- 

The Bolton News previously reported that, following her death, four people were charged with burglary and drug offences, but a man was cleared of murder. 

Jordan Winstanley, then 27, of Radnor Drive, Leigh, and Robbie Arnold, then 21, of Suffolk Grove, Leigh, were both charged with aggravated burglary in 2021. 

Bethany Twist, then 21, of Devon Street, Leigh, and Adam Guy, then 23, of Turner Street, Leigh, were charged with being concerned in the supply of Class B drugs. 

Following her death, a 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and bailed pending further enquiries.

But after consultation with the CPS, it was announced in 2021 that no further action would be taken against the man, according to police. 

A statement read out by Cole Dunphy, a witness, told how earlier the same day, a man he knew called Robbie Arnold had asked for a lift later.

He and Robbie picked up two people, a man and a woman who Cole didn’t recognise, from Devon Street in Leigh.

They then drove to the address on Manchester Road where Deborah was stabbed.

Mr Dunphy said: “As we approached, I saw Robbie put on a black balaclava”. He also described how Arnold was carrying a ‘large air gun’.

He parked the car at the rear of the address and the three people got out of the car and went in.

A short time later, he saw a ‘male’ run from the rear of the address, screaming and shouting “they’ve killed her, they’ve killed her”.

Mr Dunphy and Arnold then left in the car.

Evidence of a ‘Witness A’, who lived at the address on Manchester Road at the time of the incident, was read out to the inquest.

He said: “I had been at that address for over a year, my partner was expecting another child. We had felt secure in our family environment.”

He said the events of the day had caused his mental health to deteriorate, causing ‘post traumatic’ thoughts and feelings.

Pathologist Philip Lumb gave Deborah’s medical cause of death as a stab wound to the chest.

Concluding, Coroner Brennand said: “It seems to me that Deborah Jane Twist died as a consequence of a single stab wound, inflicted in purported self-defence.

“The words are natural and non-judgemental, not designed to exonerate the actions of witness A nor to castigate those actions.”

He added: “It seems clear just listening to the totality of the evidence in this sad and harrowing case that there was a lot of background that culminated in matters on March 17 at the rear of a property on Manchester Road.

“A relatively young woman, a mother, somebody who had many positive qualities of her life, was to sustain a fatal injury.”