Bolton man denies murder of dog owner found after reports of labradoodle being stolen

Donald 'Prentice' Patience. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A man has pleaded not guilty to murdering a dog owner who was found dead at his home after police responded to reports of his labradoodle being stolen.

On 22 August, Greater Manchester Police were called to the home of Donald Patience, 45, in response to reports of his pet being taken from the address.

Mr Patience was found dead after police searched the end-terrace property on Ainsworth Road in Radcliffe, Bury.

On Friday, Ian Connell, 39, from Duke Street in Bolton, appeared at Manchester Crown Court and pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter.

Connell has been further remanded in custody ahead of a pre-trial on 15 January 2024.

A trial date was provisionally set for 12 February.

Following the death of Mr Patience, affectionately known as Prentice, his family has described him as a "much-loved son, brother and father".

The labradoodle was recovered and has since been in the care of the relevant authority, police said.

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