Reasonable force

The law is an ass. I hold this truth to be self evident.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, four men broke into a home in Leicestershire disturbing the home owner and his wife. Not unreasonably in my view, the man took his legally held shotgun and shot two of the men.

The men fled and the homeowner called the police immediately to report what had happened. Shortly afterwards, one of the burglars called 999 for an ambulance and the other injured man turned up at hospital with shotgun wounds. Neither injury was life threatening.

The outcome to this is that four men have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary and the home owner and his wife have been arrested on suspicion of GBH. What a crazy world we live in where someone confronted with 4 burglars in his home is arrested for defending himself.

Some of you will, of course, remember the case of Tony Martin, the man who was jailed for killing a burglar after enduring ten burglaries, losing over £6,000 worth of property and complaining about police inaction over the crimes. Martin was confronted with two burglars and defended himself with a pump action shotgun loaded with bird shot. He injured one and killed the other and was jailed for 9 years, reduced to 8 years by the Home Secretary, further reduced to 5 years on appeal and the conviction downgraded from murder to manslaughter. The original jury decision was split 10-2.

The law permits murder in these circumstances but only if the force used is held by a court to be ‘reasonable’.

Personally, I think that if someone breaks into your home and threatens you, then you should be allowed to shoot the bastard. He has violated your sanctuary. He has defiled your home. He is a thinking, rational human being who knows he shouldn’t be there. He should take the consequences.

I will be interested to see what happens in this particular case…


4 responses to “Reasonable force

  1. From the fairly biased reports – depending on which newspaper you read, the actions of the Police in arresting everyone involved in this incident is the correct one. Until all of the six people involved have been interviewed, forensic tests carried out and all the evidence gathered and checked, no-one outside of those 6 people have any real idea what happened. For a successful prosecution of any offender, all available avenues of investigation must be explored. The system isn't perfect but it is better than being told, "You don't have a criminal record while the other blokes are scumbags so there is no problem in you giving them some of your shotgun pellets." Shooting someone (and being shot)is a highly traumatic experience and so the given stories must be checked and re-checked. If the Police didn't arrest everyone and the four burglars were prosecuted, their defence briefs would have a field day in proclaiming an abuse of process as the Police had already made their minds up without any evidence – even if, as it seems likely, their may well be no prosecution over the shooting. In such a case, the Police would be hauled over the coals and severelky criticised for not doing their jobs. You can't have it both ways. In the Martin case, as I understand it, the burglars were running away when he fired his shotgun at them. The dead boy was shot in the back In law, he could not be held to be defending himself as he was not facing a direct threat and so was prosecuted. The fact that his farm had been attacked so many times was taken into account but, technically, he was still guilty. So, if you feel that not everyone has been dealt with fairly, instead of blaming the Police, have a go at the great and good who create the legislation that the Police are legally bound to act upon. Don't shoot the messenger, have a go at the blokes who wrote the message!Penseivat

  2. Ignoble Caledonian.

    Quite agree Dioclese,-if anyone broke in to my house ,I would go straight for them with the sharpest kitchen knife I could grab, and to hell with the consequencies. As you say, they know perfectly well what they are doing,-if they are drugged up, then tough luck. Not infrequently, the law is an ass, (particularly European),and if you are an illegal immigrant, there's a fair chance you would be handed out a lenient sentence for housebreaking if at all, even with GBH, and not deported.

  3. I'm not criticising the police in this case, but as I said 'the law is an ass' and I agree that criticism should be directed at the people who lay down the law not the people who uphold it.

  4. I've often wondered what purpose 'reasonable force' laws are supposed to serve, if they're not expressly aimed at forcing a victim of crime to ensure the safety of whoever's committing a crime against him, no matter how violent, in the same moment as their own safety's being jeopardized. And there lies the injustice of 'reasonable force',