Cop threat killer is ‘menace to society’

Christopher Maunder threatened to kill a police officer
Christopher Maunder threatened to kill a police officer
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The mother of a man who was violently stabbed to death today branded his killer “a danger to the public” after he was sent back to jail for threatening to kill a police officer.

Former Blackpool lorry driver Christopher Maunder pulled out a knife while out drinking, a court heard.

The 55-year-old, who served five years in prison for the manslaughter of Michael Nelson-Lane in 2004, told a barman at the Cow Bar and Grill, on Cannon Street, Preston, he was “going to do a cop”.

Preston Crown Court also heard he made threats to kill his previous neighbours if he ever saw them again.

He was sentenced to three years in jail, followed by five years on court licence.

Sylvia Lane, whose son was killed in what was described at the time as a “savage attack”, said she has lived in fear since Maunder’s release in 2009.

The Fleetwood family have moved house twice since then and Mrs Lane said a memorial service for what would have been her son’s 50th birthday on Sunday was overshadowed by yesterday’s sentencing.

She said: “We always knew he would re-offend and he did. We have been on tenterhooks since the arrest.

“Michael suffered a horrific, brutal death and anybody who commits a crime like that cannot be classed as normal.

“He’s a danger to the public and I hope for everyone’s sake, not just my family’s, that wherever he settles after this an eye is kept on him because I firmly believe he will offend again.”

Maunder, formerly of Charles Street, Blackpool, had previously pleaded guilty to having a bladed article in a public place in May last year and to making a threat to kill.

At yesterday’s sentencing, the court heard he had told a man at the pub he was looking for a room for the night as it was his last night out for 10 to 15 years.

He then pulled out a short-bladed kitchen knife from his pocket.

He then walked towards the city centre and the police were called.

The court heard Maunder handed a jacket containing the knife to a police officer and said: “I murdered someone eight years ago. That’s why I carry a knife, for my own protection.”

He claimed that following his release from jail in 2009, his probation officer had told him the family of his victim had made some kind of threat and he carried the knife to use in self defence.

He conceded he had not been threatened directly by anyone.

Mark Stephenson, defending, said Maunder was a “troubled” man who had behavioural difficulties when not in a controlled environment – but he was a model prisoner while behind bars.

Judge Stuart Baker said: “You are a person who is volatile and has far less concern about human safety than the overwhelming majority of other people would have.

“You are, in my view, a man who can properly be regarded and described as a dangerous offender”.

In 2005, Maunder was cleared at trial of murdering Mr Nelson-Lane but convicted of manslaughter.

The court heard the pair met at the Mardis Gras nightclub, on Talbot Road, before going to the victim’s Warley Road flat.

Mrs Lane, 70, said yesterday’s sentence will help to ease her fear since Maunder, a one-time lover of her son’s, was released five years into his eight-year prison term.

She said: “I personally think he is a dangerous person and should be off the streets.

“They have tried their best this time but I have lost faith in the British justice system.

“We are relieved he is still going to be locked up for some time and will then be on licence for five years.

“But it is an on-going thing. He won’t serve three years now – he has been in prison since May so it’s not going to be that long until he is out.

“At the end of the day it never ceases.

“There is always another chapter.”

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