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Thread: Defence of Person & Property....

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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    Defence of Person & Property....

    A statement made in another thread prompts this post:

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    sadly, much though this would be just deserts for the pikey intruder, this is probably illegal and you could be done for maliciousness or whatever the legal term is. It's the same madness that sees a homeowner banged up for beating up an intruder who tied up his wife and kids - because he chased him down the road he was deemed to have not been acting in self defense, and therefore prosecutable!?!?!

    This country is a mess.
    Instead of dragging the other thread off topic, I've started another thread in here.


    If I may add a qualification to the story told in the media: Whilst I had nothing to do with the incident, it did pique my interest sufficiently that I read the trial report - as such, it was more accurate than the media's whitewash reporting.

    The particulars of this case highlight the act was not in 'the heat of the moment' but rather a premeditated revenge. Having been tied up, but escaping and chasing the burglar away (whereby risk to person & property had then ceased) they returned to the house to source implements with which they then attacked the burglar with. They did so not in an attempt to subdue the burglar whilst the police were on the way, but rather more violently than necessary, ultimately causing the burglar brain damage.

    Whilst the newspapers with a right of centre bias reported an end to the ability of a homeowner to protect themselves, infact it was rather a clarification that you cannot beat to a pulp a burglar after they have left your property, and to an extent unreasonable in the circumstances.

    For those interested, a short Guardian piece on the case sums it up nicely - including the fact that the reduction of sentence was a decision not made lightly, and that the original sentence reflected the seriousness of the crime, but failed to take into full account the circumstances.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/ja...n-appeal-court

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    RIP Peterb ik9000's Avatar
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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    If I recall correctly, said pulped person had a significant criminal record, and was acting in a gang of 5, of whom none of the others involved in the raid has ever been identified, charged or brought to justice.

    They only identified the one because the homeowner guy got his hands on him. True, he hit him with a cricket bat over the head so hard the bat snapped, (again from memory) but this guy had just tied up his family in front of him and threatened to kill them. The judge at the appeal noted his reaction was caused by the stress of the situation and was out of character. The guy who broke in, well I struggle to have any sympathy beyond the tragedy of the whole situation. Some people are feral and the law ought to protect those poor folk who have to stand up to them to protect their family/possessions.

    Equally, I agree that it isn't appropriate to pulp someone with a cricket bat unless it really is necessary in self defense - this clearly was overstepping the mark. My original point was that the OP I was replying to was stating they were keen to nobble the intruding computer by nefarious means. While this could be seen as self-administered justice, and the thieving visitor would get paid back for their password cracking, free-loading ways, this would leave the OP at risk of prosecution/being sued for deliberately seeking to cause harm, and/or causing damage to the visitor's computer. 2 wrongs don't make a right and all that.
    Last edited by ik9000; 11-03-2011 at 01:20 AM.

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    I support an eye for an eye. The burglar chose to break into the house. They chose to tie up the man’s wife and children and threaten harm against them. I have no sympathy for the burglar what so ever. I do have sympathy for the man who retaliated, however vigorously that was locked up. There was clear planning on both sides but it was initiated by one person (the burglar). Breaking and entering, however despicable is one thing but a home invasion is something entirely different and far worse.

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    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    Put in that situation, with my daughter & a partner tied up & with the worry of rape/murder I would have done exactly the same thing, seen red and beat them till I couldn't stand. I am as easy going, relaxed and have virtually no temper but if someone was to touch my daughter I would raise hell on earth and wouldn't be able to contain myself in the slightest.


    Credit to him, beating him to the point of brain damage makes him a hero in my book.

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    Hmmm its tricky but if the homeowner only hit the guy once, even though it caused brain damage, then I'd be inclined to say him being jailed is harsh. I'd say that was an out of character reaction to an out of the ordinary event which he did not instigate. If he gave him a sustained beating whilst the guy was helpless on the ground then he went too far (even though I can understand the motivation).

    Of course I say all this with the knowledge that I have never had to endure a situation like he had to.

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    As far as I am concerned, if anyone breaks into my house they have just voluntarily waived all rights!

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    They only identified the one because the homeowner guy got his hands on him. True, he hit him with a cricket bat over the head so hard the bat snapped, (again from memory) but this guy had just tied up his family in front of him and threatened to kill them. The judge at the appeal noted his reaction was caused by the stress of the situation and was out of character. The guy who broke in, well I struggle to have any sympathy beyond the tragedy of the whole situation. Some people are feral and the law ought to protect those poor folk who have to stand up to them to protect their family/possessions.
    There's one big problem with what this guy did - he waited until the assailant had left the house.

    He chased this guy down the road, and then with a group of people starting laying into him as viciously as possible with any weapons they could lay their hands on. It wasn't a case of citizen's arrest, it was just violent revenge.

    Now, I don't particularly have a problem with that. The guy who broke in probably deserved it - threatening to murder someone's family doesn't really give you any rights.

    But, you've got to consider the legal system as a whole. Let's suggest that we said the beating was fine. The criminal broke into the house, left, was chased down by the homeowner and attacked - he got what was coming to him. Now let's adjust that situation slightly. The criminal breaks into the house, leaves, and goes home. Two days later, the homeowner goes round with metal poles and cricket bats, waits for him to come outside, then batters him half to death on his doorstep.

    I think the vast majority would agree that's unacceptable. Whilst pre-meditation is a major aspect here, I think we're on very shaky ground if we're implying that time is the issue. If you attack and nearly kill someone 5 minutes after they leave the house, that's fine, but after 30 minutes that's attempted murder/GBH? You should be able to use unlimited force to evict such a person from your house, in my opinion (not legally), including skewering them on the end of a meat cleaver, but once they've left your house and are fleeing, anything beyond the minimum required for arrest is unacceptable.

    Otherwise we're simply condoning vigilantism, which is not how the law works.

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    Snooty pretty much nailed my reaction to this.

    Do I have any sympathy for a scumbag that did what was reported to have been done, i.e. tying up the bloke's wife and kids, threatening to kill therm, etc, and got brained for it?

    Answer = No, not one iota. As far as I'm concerned, the removal of this individual from life would represent a marginal improvement in the gene pool, and I have no care at all for how serious his injuries are. If you choose to live by the sword, you'll get no sympathy from me if you're hurt by it or die by it.

    However .... vigilantism is a very slippery slope, not least because sooner or later, a vigilante is going to get it wrong, like the stories of the moronic individual that, again according to the reports, doesn't know the difference between a paedophile and a paediatrician.

    So .... the law draws a line. You are allowed to defend yourself, and your property, and you're allowed to use reasonable force to do it. And, the definition of "reasonable" includes a fair bit of latitude, especially where home invasions are concerned.

    But chasing someone down the street is not in any sense self-defence. You are still allowed to do it, in order to effect what is commonly called a citizen's arrest, but the law on that is tricky and you'd better be very sure of what you're doing if you try it, so the best bet is, generally, don't try it. And again, if you do it, and force used has to be reasonable and it's hard to see how the force used was.

    But I have two reservations with the sentence Mr Hussain received. No, three. First, he's a victim himself and didn't ask for any of this to happen. The people that attacked him and his family, on the other hand, did have a choice.

    Second, if you've just been through that kind of trauma, it's not surprising if you aren't thinking entirely calmly and rationally. and Mr Hussain probably didn't stop to check legal references on whether chasing this bloke down the street was still self-defence or not.

    Third, and this is the most cold-blooded and pragmatic point .... I wonder how his initial sentence sits with the public, after hearing of his ordeal? See, the courts have to get juries to convict before judges can pass sentence and it's already quite hard to get juries to convict home owners of assaulting burglars, unless the circumstances re quite exceptional,and burglars don't exactly cut a sympathetic figure to most jury members. And there's a very real danger that banging Mr Hussain up to that long over this will cause an even bigger backlash among future juries, who may well react by denying the judge the chance of imposing such a sentence again, by acquitting on "he had it coming" grounds.

    If I met Mt Hussain, I'd be inclined to tick him off for being a naughty boy .... then offer to buy him a pint.

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    I'm a big supporter of 'Castle doctrine' and 'Stand your ground' laws that we have here in most states. I'd even say shoot the guy running away. My opinion is a pretty hard line on your right and responsibility to protect yourself. But chasing after him is a step too far.

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    Quote Originally Posted by blueball View Post
    As far as I am concerned, if anyone breaks into my house they have just voluntarily waived all rights!
    I agree, if you decide to break the Law and break into someones house, they have no rights no more, any harm in done to them in defence of the persons or house is justified.

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    Quote Originally Posted by blueball View Post
    As far as I am concerned, if anyone breaks into my house they have just voluntarily waived all rights!
    I pity the fireman trying to put out the fire that's burning your house down.

    Oh, okay, I know that's not what you meant, and I'm inclined to agree with your basic point about burglars etc, but regardless of what many of us think the law should say, that isn't what it does say, and unless you want to be the one facing a trial, a jury and perhaps a very long time behind bars, you need to remember, if nothing else, "reasonable force".

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    Quote Originally Posted by blueball View Post
    As far as I am concerned, if anyone breaks into my house they have just voluntarily waived all rights!
    For all I doubt the law would agree with you, I FULLY agree.. if anyone thinks they can break in, have a nosey at your stuff and/or threaten you or your family then they've granted you carte blanche in my book!

    A man's home is his castle, and one should defend it and everyone in it like one!!
    Last edited by Mighty God; 20-03-2011 at 08:27 PM.
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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty God View Post
    For all I doubt the law would agree with you, I FULLY agree.. if anyone thinks they can break in, have a nosey at your stuff and/or threaten you or your family then they've granted you carte blanche in my book!

    A man's home is his castle, and one should defend it and everyone in it like one!!
    The trouble is, that's a bit simplistic.

    The risk is that if you legally allow "carte blanche", anyone that still goes burgling goes expecting and anticipation a severe reaction. So, the likelihood is that they'll go both equipped to cope, and psyched up to cope.

    So now you have an intruder expecting to be met with unrestrained force, so odds are he'll e ready for it and quite willing to get his retaliation in first. And, the burglar knows he's going to burgle, so is mentally adjusted to it. The house owner, on the other hand, is likely to be caught by surprise, so is unprepared for what might be a severe fight, and on top of that is likely to be half-asleep if it's at night, is likely to be very frightened, charged with adrenalin and a bit erratic in behaviour.

    The burglar, therefore, has several distinct edges.

    And that all assumes that both parties are equally young, fit and able. If you're at a disadvantage against an intruder when you are young, fit and able, for the above reasons, what about those that are not young, fit or able? What about the elderly, the weak or ill, what about single women? They all all now also facing burglars that may well be psychologically prepared for a real fight, and quite possibly appropriately armed for it, as well.

    In principle, I agree with the notion of carte blanche against intruders. But in practice, it's rather more complicated, and the simple truth is that quite a large percentage of house holders, for various reasons, would be at a severe disadvantage.

    Right now, by FAR the most common reaction of a burglar caught in the act or interrupted is .... run like hell. But if they think they're going to be taking their lives in their hands every time they climb though a window, it is also likely that the type of burglar we then get are those prepared to take that risk, and those right up for it. The result could well be a large increase in hurt or dead house holders.

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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    It will also result in large decreases in burglary, and any brave enough to go ahead with burglary, will likely still choose scampering off over being at the receiving end of moral wounding, or at least will eventually get their just deserts.

    You can't depend on the police to be there during a serious crime, and you *definitely* can't depend on the mercy of the burglar to not murder you or have their way with the women in your house. So what else is there left?
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    Re: Defence of Person & Property....

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    It will also result in large decreases in burglary, and any brave enough to go ahead with burglary, will likely still choose scampering off over being at the receiving end of moral wounding, or at least will eventually get their just deserts.

    You can't depend on the police to be there during a serious crime, and you *definitely* can't depend on the mercy of the burglar to not murder you or have their way with the women in your house. So what else is there left?
    Agreed, but those "serious" situations seem to be very much the exception not the rule. Also, it might result in a decease, though whether it's large or otherwise is open to argument, in burglary. It certainly has in some US states, but they're states where a burglar might well find the home-owner, waiting with a loaded .45, an itchy trigger finger and a bad attitude.

    Gun laws over here make that very, very unlikely, though it's more likely that someone already indulging in criminal activity is more likely to have, or be able get get, a loaded .45 than the average law-abiding home-owner.

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