A burglar who twice ran over an ex-Royal Navy officer with his own car has been convicted of murder.
Ryan Gibbons, 29, admitted breaking into Mike Samwell’s home in Chorlton, Manchester on 23 April and stealing his Audi S3 sports car but denied deliberately driving over him.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court took four hours to find Gibbons guilty of the 35-year-old’s murder.
Gibbons, of Steven Court, Chorlton, will be sentenced on Wednesday.
The court heard Mr Samwell, a nuclear engineer, and his wife Jessica woke to the sound of burglars breaking into their home on Cranbourne Road on 23 April.
Mr Samwell ran downstairs to confront Gibbons as he was driving off, shouting “Get out of the car” but was run over.
His wife followed him out of the house and found her husband on his back with tyre marks on his chest and “blood coming out of his head”.
The jury had been told Gibbons reversed over Mr Samwell and then drove back over him.
Gibbons claimed he had not seen the former officer before he ran over him although he said he was aware “something had gone under the wheels”.
He told the court he fled the scene and dumped the car before going home to smoke cannabis.
He then went to the pub with his brother “to act normal”.
In a statement, Mr Samwell’s family said they can now put the brutality of his death to one side and focus on his life.
They said he was “loved by everyone who met him” and his outlook on life was “always positive”.
“To us he was, and forever will be, our hero,” they added.
Raymond Davies, 21, of Castlefield Walk, Manchester, who collected Gibbons after he crashed and dumped the Audi was found guilty of manslaughter.
Gibbons’ girlfriend Stacey Hughes, 28, of Steven Court, Chorlton, was cleared of assisting an offender by giving a false name while the couple stayed in a hotel the night after the murder.
Tribute from Mike Samwell’s family
Mike was one of those rare people who was loved by everyone who met him. He saw the potential in people and would go above and beyond to help them to realise it.
His outlook on life was always positive, even in the face of hardship and adversity he would have a smile and an awful joke ready to lighten the situation.
One of the most important and inspiring things about Mike was the passion and drive that he poured into absolutely everything he did and everyone he loved; he did so with what appeared to be boundless energy and enthusiasm.
There isn’t enough time and definitely not enough words to express how proud we are of Mike.
We can’t even begin to explain how much our Mike will be missed. To us he was, and forever will be, our hero.