Using Force Against Burglars
No change in law for victims of burglary
The solicitor general has said the government will resist any calls to change the law where householders have used force in cases of burglary.
Vera Baird told the Commons today that “the courts deal with such cases quite properly”.
The issue has come to public attention after a businessman was jailed for 30 months after he attacked burglars who broke into his home and threatened his family.
Munir Hussain was freed by the Appeal Court yesterday and given a a two-year suspended sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent.
David Amess (Con, Southend West) said “hardly a week goes by without some sort of report of a victim of burglary bizarrely being prosecuted”.
“There is certainly a feeling of great injustice in the country, so will she give clearer guidance to the CPS when it considers prosecution?” he asked.
“I do not accept that hardly a week goes by, although obviously I am well aware of the cases that hit the headlines recently and some years ago.
“As a consequence of the earlier case in 2005, a joint statement was issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the CPS that made it very clear that a person is entitled to use force to resist a burglar.
“The current case has brought the matter forward again, but it has not really impacted on the very good advice contained in that statement.”
Baird told the House that between 1989 and 2004 only 11 people were charged with responding in any way violently to being burgled.
“In his judgment yesterday on the most recent case, the Lord Chief Justice said that it was not at all about a person defending himself after a burglary, as the burglary was long over before the violence that gave rise to the sentence took place,” she said.
David Drew (Lab, Stroud) said a change in the law “would be putting property above life, and that is something that I hope our law will never accept”.
Baird said there is no suggestion from the Lord Chief Justice that there is anything wrong with the law.
“Members of the jury have to try to put themselves in that person’s position, and evaluate how high their feelings would be,” she said.
“Even then, they must ask whether, taking all that emotion into account, the response was reasonable.
“I suspect that the law is pretty accurate, and that juries have every opportunity to give as much credit as they want to the incredibly tense situations that people can find themselves in.”
Sir Alan Beith (Lib Dem, Berwick-upon-Tweed) (LD) said the solicitor general should “resist those siren voices who want the law rewritten”.
David Winnick (Lab, Walsall, North) said it is “absolute nonsense to suggest that the current law, which has been in existence for so long, is soft on burglars”.
Baird said that if violence happened after the burglary was over that is breaking the rule of law.
“It is revenge, not self-defence,” she told MPs.
Edward Garnier (Con, Harborough) called for the abolition of the Sentencing Council, “so that judges can sentence on the facts before them, rather than having to follow a template issued by other people elsewhere”.
The solicitor general said there is no template, the judiciary have a discretion and they exercise it.
“They, at first instance, are the people who see the dramatis personae before them, and who can make a proper assessment of the absolute detail and the nature of the person.
“Judges have plenty of discretion, and in the judgment that I have read, the trial judge made no suggestion that he found himself hogtied—and the Lord Chief Justice certainly did not, either.”
WTF, if someone broke into my house whilst my family and myself were in bed, I would break his knee caps, no questions asked, then ring the old bill get them to come and arrest the scum and say he fell down the stairs, his word against mine……simples.
An Englishman’s home is his Castle, END OF, you have the right to use reasonable force, smash their heads in the door jamb, or run and smash it off a wall, if they are upstairs kick them down them, but always say you were using reasonable force, say they attacked you according to the law you can hit them three times under the reasonable force rule, make them count, then they fell, your wife/girl friend or whatever, will back you up, unless they do not like you.
This is what is wrong with this country, if the sentences or consequences were more severe it would deter them more, but instead the scum can break into your home, but they have more rights, like hell you do if you break into my house, The EnglishWarrior, will defend his family and home to the hilt, and I know my family would stand by me if I said they fell.