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John Richards Prosecutes Imitation Firearm and Machete Wielding Criminals

Kenworthy's Chambers | January 3, 2023

This case study details how Criminal Barrister John Richards successfully prosecuted in a case where a drug debt collection went horribly wrong, resulting in a death caused by stab wounds.

Read on to discover how John Richards built up the case to prove that Jordan Winstanley committed aggravated burglary and Robbie Arnold had possession of an imitation firearm.

Client Story

Couple Bethany Twist and Adam Guy had both previously been charged with ‘being concerned in the supply of cannabis’ to Martin Mojsej and pleaded guilty.

On March 15th, 2019, Martin, who had run up a marijuana drug debt of £170, was violently assaulted by two women at his aunt’s house, demanding payment from him.

Then on March 17th, 2019, at around 3:30 pm, Debbie Twist, met with her son Jordan Winstanley, nephew Robbie Arnold, daughter Bethany and her partner Adam at The Canal Turn public house in Leigh, where they drank together for around an hour.

After running out of money at the pub, Jordan Winstanley and Robbie Arnold knocked at the front door of Martin’s father’s residence, to try and collect the drug debt. They walked back to the Twist family home to continue their drinking.

The decision was made to return, alongside Debbie Twist, with weapons and face coverings, once night fell.


With various weapons on their persons, including an imitation firearm, machete, and hammer, there was a knock at the front door of Martin Mojsej’s father’s house. The householder, who was upstairs watching videos with his pregnant partner, did not recognise the knock at the front door and decided not to answer. Then there was louder knocking at the back door and the glass panel of the back door was then smashed to force entry into the property.

The householder went downstairs to investigate and was met with silhouettes of several armed people ready to attack him.

A violent confrontation then took place in the kitchen, in which Jordan Winstanley was injured, and Debbie Twist suffered a knife wound from the householder that killed her.

The householder fled to his sister’s house where he called the police to report what had happened.

An ambulance was called to the scene in Leigh. When the police showed up with the ambulance crew, Debbie’s body had been dragged outside into the garden and wrapped in Jordan’s coat.

Bodycam footage from the police who arrived on the scene captured Jordan explaining that they were there to ‘sort out a debt’ and later, when he was spoken to by the police as a witness, he named the 18-year-old who they persuaded to give them a lift there.

The householder’s neighbour spotted a handle on the roof the next morning. The police then came to retrieve what turned out to be a machete!

Police searched Robbie Arnold’s house and found an imitation assault rifle with Debbie’s blood on it, linking it to the crime scene. The imitation rifle also had Jordan and Robbie’s DNA on it.

Neither Jordan Winstanley nor Robbie Arnold gave evidence at the trial.

How Kenworthy’s Chambers Helped

As the prosecution, it was up to John Richards to build up the case and prove to the jury, so they were sure that Jordan Winstanley and Robbie Arnold were guilty. John put all the evidence together like a jigsaw to prove the case.

Criminal Barrister John Richards combined witness accounts from the householder and the 18-year-old driver along with the evidence presented by Forensic Scientists linking the weapons with Jordan, Robbie, and Debbie to persuade the jury that offences had been committed.

Presenting this ‘jigsaw’ was challenging because the driver was young and scared, meanwhile, the householder suffered from learning difficulties, and depression and was distraught in providing his evidence.

The 18-year-old driver was promised some petrol money to give Robbie a lift and agreed. Picking people up from the Twist residence. When talk in the car revealed their intention to commit burglary during that car journey, discussing “robbing a cannabis grow”, he was uncomfortable but drove them to their desired destination.

Despite being fearful, the driver witness gave evidence from behind a screen, testifying that Robbie sat in the front seat carrying an imitation assault rifle and that a male, unknown to him due to a face covering, said, “if anyone gets in the way I will stab them” while sitting on his backseat. The driver was told to keep the boot open and not to leave, and that is what he did.

He got out of the car, frozen, not knowing what to do, and heard numerous loud bangs, which he presumed were the sound of the back door being opened by force. John Richards pointed out to the jury that this version of events corroborates the evidence given by the householder who went downstairs to investigate the knocking at the back door and acted to protect himself and his pregnant partner when the glass panel of the back door was smashed through to force entry into the kitchen.

The bodycam footage from the police who attended the crime scene captured Jordan stating that they “just gone round for a civil chat to say, ‘where’s the fucking money!?” John Richards used this to question Jordan’s character. He was also able to use a previous drug dealing conviction against Robbie as a bad character reference. Forensic Scientists were able to prove that the glass that was embedded in the handle and the blade of the machete found up on the roof was the same glass as the kitchen back door. Along with some of the householder’s blood, the machete also contained DNA from Jordan and Debbie.

Forensic Scientists explained that the glass was embedded in the machete in such a way that there must have been forceful contact made with the kitchen window, further corroborating the witnesses’ accounts.

Meanwhile, the imitation rifle, mentioned by the driver witness in his account and found by police searching Robbie Arnold’s house, had both Jordan and Robbie’s DNA on it.

Also, a hammer was found in the back garden with Jordan’s DNA, linking him to the weapon.

The Results

John Richards was successful in building up a picture of the events in the case to prove to the jury that Jordan Winstanley and Robbie Arnold were guilty.

Robbie Arnold was found guilty of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Jordan Winstanley was found guilty of aggravated burglary and was also found guilty of possession of diamorphine (the class A drug commonly known as heroin) left inside his wallet in the coat he wrapped his mother in.

John Richards has two decades of experience practicing Criminal Law. His practice now involves defending and prosecuting in courts across the country, giving him an important perspective in knowing how to approach a case from both a defence and prosecution perspective.

To check the availability of Criminal Barrister John Richards for your Crime case call our Criminal Clerk Paul Mander on 0161 832 4036, Email: [email protected], or fill out our contact form.