An intruder who broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and stabbed her new partner four times has been found not guilty of attempted murder.

Ben Tebay broke into his ex-partner’s home on Ulundi Street, Radcliffe, in the early hours of February 5, where he stabbed Liam Barber in the face, arm, neck and ribs.

Tebay, 34, was brought before Manchester Crown Court this week to face trial accused of attempted murder.

He had previously admitted to carrying out the attack and pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but denied trying to kill Mr Barber.

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Today, Friday, a jury of six women and six men found Tebay not guilty of attempted murder following several hours of deliberations.

Earlier in the trial, which lasted for three days, prosecutor Nicholas Clarke argued Tebay had a “clear intention to kill” when he entered the couple’s bedroom with a knife taken from the kitchen.

However, Rachel Shenton, defending, argued the prosecution relied too heavily on these words and denied Tebay entered the house with the intent to kill.

She also claimed none of Mr Barber's injuries had been "life-threatening".

She said: “It’s an expression used very often by people who have no intention of killing.

“This was a moment of passion, a dynamic short-lived event.

“What Ben Tebay did was indefensible, but he did not intend to kill Liam Barber.”

Summarising the evidence on Friday, Judge Nicholas Dean KC read a statement provided by Tebay in which he described feeling “upset and disgusted” at what he had done.

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“I didn’t intend to murder,” he said.

“I didn’t intend to kill.”

The court heard that Tebay, an army veteran "with an exemplary record", had a history of anxiety and depression and admitted to having “a drink problem".

Tebay’s stepmother said the incident was “wholly unexpected”.

She said: “I’ve never known him to arm himself with a knife.

“He doesn't have a bad bone in his body.”

In his statement, Tebay said the first stab wound inflicted on Mr Barber’s face was deliberate but said the following injuries occurred while the men "grappled" on the floor of the house.

But having pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, Judge Nicholas Dean KC told Tebay he should expect, however, to receive a sentence of "immediate imprisonment". 

Concluding, Judge Dean said: "The scarring to Mr Barber is plainly permanent and will continue to have an impact on him for remainder of his life." 

Tebay will be summoned back to court on Friday, September 8 to be sentenced.