A MURDER charge against a man accused of stabbing his girlfriend’s ex-partner at her Halesowen home has been dropped after he claimed he was acting in self-defence.

Ian Swinburne, aged 49, claimed he used a knife to protect himself after two men burst into the house where he was staying in Graham Road on Sunday February 3.

Father-of-one David Carpenter, aged 47, from Oldbury, died after suffering a stab wound to the chest in the incident at the home he used to share with Nicola Bennett.

Mr Swinburne, of Stourbridge Road, Dudley, was charged with murder, as well as with assault causing actual bodily harm to Mitchell While.

But the Crown Prosecution Service has told Mr Swinburne’s solicitor, Michael Davies, that both the murder and the assault charges have been dropped.

Mr Swinburne is still currently in custody but Mr Davies is making an urgent application for him to be released immediately.

When Mr Swinburne appeared in court to face the murder charge, Mr Davies took the unusual request of asking for media reporting restrictions to be lifted to appeal for witnesses.

He was baffled by the decision to charge his client, saying he had never come across such a strong case of self-defence.

Mr Davies told Dudley Magistrates the two men had gone to the house, in the normally quiet cul-de-sac, to “sort out” Mr Swinburne.