Father killed during Labradoodle theft

Donald Patience was killed during the theft of this labradoodle at his home.
Donald Patience. Image: The Independent.

This very sad news story is all over the news media online today but we don’t know an awful lot about what actually happened. Donald Patience, 45, was found dead at his home in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester last Tuesday. He owned a Labradoodle dog and it is believed that burglars broke into his home with the intention of stealing the dog. And the story implies that during the theft of the dog, Donald Patience was killed.

He lived in a terraced house on a busy road. The police acted very quickly in apprehending three men who’ve been arrested on suspicion of murder. Two of them have been released on bail while a third, aged 39, remains in custody.

It appears that the Labradoodle was taken to a grooming parlour the day after its theft and this appears to have played a role in the arrest of the three men. Mick Hewitson, 58, who runs a grooming parlour called The Dog Shop said that a young man had called in about 10 AM on Tuesday who said that his boss wanted his dog trimmed and left him some money. Hewitson was too busy to do the job. Half an hour later the police “had all rushed around and that same man was arrested” he said. He added that, “The police had hold of the same Labradoodle”.

Mr Patience is described by his work employees and the mother of his three children as a really nice man. The reports are that he was kindhearted. Ben Johnson, who worked with Patience at Express Estate Agency in Manchester for five years said that he was horrified at the events and that his work colleague “was genuinely one of the most caring, understanding and empathetic people I have ever had the pleasure of working with and meeting. When times were tough, he was always there to lend a helping hand to me, to be an ear to bend. He always had time for me and others.”

Labradoodles are very valuable and puppies can sell for between £600 and £1500.

Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Smith of Greater Manchester police said: “First, as a force, we would like to pass on our condolences to Donald’s loved ones at this extremely distressing time. We are doing all we can to get the answers they deserve and find out what has happened. Since we were made aware of this incident earlier this week our investigation has been swift and precise, with three arrested because of our enquiries, with one at the scene at the time of the suspected burglary. I would like to reassure the local public, as I understand there will be alarm when finding out about this, but we are confident it is a targeted attack. We now want to appeal to the local community for any eyewitness accounts or footage of any activity that we may be able to link to this investigation.”

Note: on a separate topic, you will see that I have capitalised the word Labradoodle because I think it looks nicer like that. There is a discussion online about whether you should or shouldn’t capitalise dog breed names such as Labradoodle. Some people do and some people don’t. The general advice is that you should only capitalise proper nouns within a dog breed’s name such as the Newfoundland. I am aware of this but I still decided to capitalise Labradoodle in this article.

Update: I have read that the Patience was dead before the theft but the picture remains unclear at this time.

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