Murder charge as man found dead after beloved pet ‘stolen by dognappers’

A man has been charged with murder of a dog owner who was allegedly targeted by thieves who stole his pet labradoodle.

Police found the body of Donald Patience, 45, shortly after they were called to reports of his beloved pooch Layla being dognapped.

Ian Connell, 39, of Duke Street, Bolton, has been charged with his murder, reports the BBC.

He will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court at a later date. A 27-year-old man and a 41-year-old man, who were also arrested, have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Mr Patience, 45, had been dead for several days when officers found him at the property in Bury, Greater Manchester, on Tuesday, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

READ MORE: Body found in hunt for missing woman as man arrested for murder

Police had been called to the suspected theft of a labradoodle in Ainsworth Road, Radcliffe.

The back window of the house was smashed and officers have continued to appeal for information. The cause of his death remains unknown and is being investigated.

Also known as Prentice, Mr Patience was originally from Alness in the Scottish Highlands.

Tributes were paid to Mr Patience on social media.

His ex-wife Kirsty posted: “This breaks my heart to have to write this.

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“As a lot of you may have already seen, this week we lost an extremely incredible man. We are all truly heartbroken at this news, and we are all struggling to come to terms with his death.”

Another heartbroken relative said their family had been left devastated by Mr Patience’s death.

A post on social media said: “Please, if you know or have seen anything, please contact the police. Heartbreaking news for my family this week. You didn’t deserve to have your life taken in this way. Fly high Prent xx.”

Labradoodle puppies – a cross between a labrador and a poodle – can cost up to £3,000 and are one of the most popular new breeds of dog.

GMP added that the dog was being looked after.

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