Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Reasonable Force Grey Area

Two men break into a pensioners house, threaten him with a screwdriver and in a scuffle the victim grabs the screwdriver and stabs the burglar to death open and close case you would have thought but unfortunately it doesn't quite work that way, just ask Tony Martin.
In 1999, Norfolk farmer Martin shot dead a 16-year-old intruder and got handed a life sentence for murder although this was later downgraded to manslaughter.
In 2008, Munir Hussain was jailed for 30 months for grievous bodily harm after attacking an intruder with a cricket bat and now Richard Osbourne-Brooks has been arrested on suspicion of murder after stabbing a burglar in his home.
The rights for how far a person can go to defend their home is a grey area, the use of 'reasonable force' doesn't really explain what constitutes 'reasonable force' and it is not defined by law but a person must show that 'do what they honestly thought was necessary at the time' to stay within the law.
Where Martin and Hussain fell down was the law says they shouldn't carry on attacking an intruder after they are no longer in danger, and as the intruders were running away when they were attacked by the home owners, they were deemed no longer in danger.
In 2013 the law was changed so that someone, confronted by a burglar, who genuinely fears for their safety or that of their family, can use force that is reasonable in the circumstances but you will be prosecuted if you use what the law terms 'grossly disproportionate force' including laying a trap, using extreme force or using a gun on an unarmed intruder.

11 comments:

Keep Life Simple said...
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Keep Life Simple said...
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Falling on a bruise said...

It's a grey area indeed, needs clarifying.

Keep Life Simple said...
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Keep Life Simple said...
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Falling on a bruise said...

But you are not the UK law so what you would do in Texas is irrelevant to what the British law says can happen, which is unclear, hence the grey area.

Keep Life Simple said...
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Falling on a bruise said...

Because it's unclear

Keep Life Simple said...
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Falling on a bruise said...

It's the 'reasonable force' statement, nobody knows what is reasonable and even the policeman on the TV talking about it could only give a vague 'enough to protect yourself' which is not helpful.

Keep Life Simple said...
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