Gangster grandmother stabbed to death after breaking into home over £120 cannabis debt
27th December 2022
Debbie Twist, the grandmother at the head of her family’s drug ring, was killed by a homeowner after she attempted to break into his property. The Manchester Evening News has reported that on March 17 2019, Debbie Twist arrived at the property with her son, Jordan Winstanley and associate Robbie Arnold, who worked for them. The trio arrived at the property wielding a hammer and machete while wearing masks and entered the property by breaking a back window
BBC newsreader breaks down reporting on death of three boys
The group had been attempting to collect a drug debt from the victim of the break in’s son, which amounted to £120 for cannabis he had bought from the family.
Bolton Crown Court heard that Debbie Twist and the two other men has been drinking at the local pub when she recognised the address to belong to the father of a debt customer.
She asked her son and Robbie Arnold to knock on the door and when they received no response decided to break into the home instead.
The Greater Manchester Police said the victim’s pregnant partner was also home at the time of the break-in and was threatened with a “firearm”.
Bolton Crown Court heard that the homeowner picked up a knife and slashed in the direction of the introducers to fend off their blows when he stabbed Debbie Twist.
Prosecutor John Richards told Bolton Crown Court that Debbie Twist later died from her injuries after being taken to hospital.
The homeowner was originally arrested for murder but police decided no further action needed to be taken following CPS advice and the authority of the Chief Crown Prosecutor that he had acted out of ‘householder defence’.
Mr Richards also said the homeowner had been left traumatised by the incident and still had flashbacks three years on, and at the time received numerous injuries to his nose and hands during the attack.
After the trial, Debbie Twist’s son, Jordan Winstanley was found guilty of aggravated burglary and handed a six-year prison sentence.
Robbie Arnold was cleared of aggravated burglary by the jury but found guilty of possessing an imitation firearm during the evening of the incident.
Picture of Robbie Arnold© Greater Manchester Police
Bolton Crown Court heard from a witness who was asked by the group to drive for them that Robbie Arnold had a paintball gun on his person and another man wearing a balaclava had told him to drive them to Manchester Road in Leigh.
A search of Robbie Arnold’s address later recovered a paintball gun, which had been used in the attack.
The police had also raided his address a month before the incident and found a number of drugs and items associated with the production of Class A drugs and the sale of Class B drugs.
Mr Richards said: “In total, what was found was £4,360 worth of cocaine, £250 of skunk cannabis, and £30 of cannabis resin.
“Over 200 messages were found on the phones relating to the sale of drugs, one saying ‘need flake, bare power’.”
Picture of police car©
Ian Metcalfe, defending Robbie Arnold, said his client had gotten into the role of producing and selling drugs after getting into “eye-watering” debt himself.
He said: “He was living in the shadow of Debbie Twist, she was a lady he had known for many years of his life and knew her as ‘aunt’.
“The defendant has taken active steps to move away from criminality.”
Alistair Reid, defending Jordan Winstanley, said his client had already suffered punishment from this crime in losing his mother and told the court that Debbie Twist’s issues with drug addiction meant he had a “traumatic childhood” which he received little support with.
Mr Reid said: “It was his 25th birthday on the night of this incident, He is no longer using drugs or alcohol to the same extent he was at that time.
“He has stepped away from that following the tragic loss of his mother. This goes some way to his better character that he has not resorted to this behaviour having lost his mother in these circumstances.