A man has been found guilty of murdering “a much-loved son, brother and father”.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court today, Thursday, has found Ian Connell, 39, guilty of murdering Donald Patience, 45, at his home on Ainsworth Road, Radcliffe.

They came to the verdict after deliberating for two hours and 45 minutes.

Mr Patience was found dead wrapped in a duvet at the bottom of the stairs on August 22 last year. 

When Connell, who was still in the area, was arrested and searched he had Mr Patient’s labradoodle with him along with his wallet, driving licence and library card.

He was arrested and charged with murder after being seen walking Mr Patience’s dog and had pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter.  

But following the trial, which went on for a week, he was found guilty of murder. 

After the jury gave their verdict, judge Mrs Justice Naomi Ellenbogen DBE thanked them for their service. 

She said: "Ladies and gentlemen, this has not been an easy trial to participate in, you have obviously approached duty with diligence and care."

After she sent them away, Connell, of Duke Street, Bolton, spoke out. 

He said: "I know I am not supposed to speak out of turn, but I am not guilty of this offence." 

The judge then asked him to be quiet. 

The court set the date of Wednesday, March 6 at 2pm, for him to be sentenced. 

Richard Holliday, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “We will never know what happened in the house leading up to Mr Patience’s death or what Ian Connell’s motivation was for attacking the man he claimed to love like family.

“After careful consideration of the evidence we presented to the jury, today they have found him guilty of causing his death.

“My thoughts are with Mr Patience’s family and friends and all those who have been affected by his death at this time.”

Last year, following his death, Mr Patience's loved ones described him as “a much-loved son, brother and father and will be sorely missed by many, affectionately known as Prentice".