Expect to be shot if you burgle gun owners

  Flak999 27 Sep 12
Locked

Sentencing two men who were shot whilst burgling a house in Leicestershire last month to four years in jail, the judge said:

“If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally-held shotgun, that is the chance you take. You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it.”

The owners of the property,Mr and Mrs Ferrie were also arrested and questioned for more than 40 hours on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. They were later released without charge.

Are we now starting to see with this case following on from several others where property owners have defended themselves and their property with potentially lethal force, a shift back in favour of the rights of the victim outweighing the rights of the perpetrators?

Many years ago now (before the ban on handguns following the Dunblaine incident) I used to be a member of a shooting club and I legally owned three handguns (two full bore and one small bore) I often pondered what my reaction to confronting intruders in the middle of the night in my home would have been!

Thankfully, I was never put to the test. But If I had been, in the heat of the moment and in fear for mine or my family's life the temptation to have shot the intruders would have been very great indeed! I know that in America if you shoot an intruder dead whilst in your house you are automatically seen as being in the right.

As criminals become more violent are we right to expect the courts to side with the victim who kills or wounds an intruder whilst in the commission of crime on your property?

  Quickbeam 27 Sep 12

I've been saying for years that injuries caused committing a criminal act are an occupational hazard. If you can't get insurance, don't bother doing the crime, it's not for the householder to provide compensation for them if they get injured.

I'm glad that the judiciary has decided to heed my advice at last...

  Forum Editor 27 Sep 12

"....it's not for the householder to provide compensation for them if they get injured."

Well, that depends upon the circumstances.

We must have discussed this subject a dozen times, and each time we do it we just go around and around, putting the same arguments. Nobody should look at what one judge says in one case as representing a change in the way these things will be viewed as a matter of course. Each case is unique in several ways.

  Flak999 27 Sep 12

Forum Editor

"Nobody should look at what one judge says in one case as representing a change in the way these things will be viewed as a matter of course. Each case is unique in several ways."

Indeed, every case is different. But each case in which the judge pronounces in favour of the victim, is another case which goes to define case law, which prosecuting barristers can then site in their arguments to favour those householders in court over self defence cases.

Whereas before this change judges had been attempting to dissuade the law abiding population from taking the law into their own hands by prosecuting the victims in these cases, and in some instances judging them more harshly than the perpetrators of the crime.

  interzone55 27 Sep 12

Flak999

Whereas before this change judges had been attempting to dissuade the law abiding population from taking the law into their own hands by prosecuting the victims in these cases, and in some instances judging them more harshly than the perpetrators of the crime.

Can you give any evidence of this?

I don't think any householder has been prosecuted for injuring or killing a burglar with the exception of Tim Martin who laid deliberate traps, so it was found his offence was pre-meditated

  Flak999 27 Sep 12

alan14

Can you give any evidence of this?

I found this piece on the website of the CPS.

"On an informal trawl the CPS has only been able to find 11 cases in the last 15 years where people have been prosecuted for attacking intruders into houses, commercial premises or private land. Only 7 of these appear to have resulted from domestic household burglaries."

Other than this, all I could find was anecdotal evidence and stories from the national press indicating prosecutions have taken place. Although I will admit that none are particularly convincing.

I suppose what I am saying is that it is heartening to find that the judiciary are more openly siding with the law abiding public in supporting their actions to defend themselves and their property in potentially life threatening situations. As opposed to the previous pre conception in some spheres of public opinion that the courts treated the victims as harshly as the perpetrators.

  interzone55 27 Sep 12

Flak999

The reason I asked is that every link I found for burglary killings said the householder was released without charge.

Where a death has occurred in the course of a burglary the police have no option but to arrest everyone, otherwise they cannot question them. It doesn't help that the more sensational press will then splash this all over their front pages as if the householder is being treated worse than the burglar, but the evidence points to the opposite being true...

  spuds 27 Sep 12

Perhaps something that as not been reported widely on this particular incident, is the fact that the property in question had been burgled before, as had other property's in the area. The couple involved had previously lived at the property, and had only just returned to live in the property on short term before finalising emigrating abroad.

With regards to (Tim?) Tony Martin, perhaps it might pay to read the transcripts of the trial and see the forensic evidence, before jumping to conclusions possibly based only on headline grabbing media reports?.

I have owned and still hold a licence for firearms, but considering that it would take an almighty effort to unlock a secure gun cabinet, assembly and load a firearm, then I think any burglar would be fairly safe at my property, excluding the dog's and other implements readily at hand. I wonder if I would be prosecuted for having possible dangerous dog's on my property, doing their job of safeguarding the household, should it ever come to that?.

  Bing.alau 27 Sep 12

On the occasions where the victim gets arrested as well as the perpetrator/burglar. Does he then have a criminal record?

  spuds 27 Sep 12

Bing.alau

This was a point that as been raised by those involved in the case, and was done so earlier regarding the couples possible emigration status to Australia. There is no convictions, so the victims should be okay, but they might have to inform the authorities in the country that they want to emigrate to.

With regards to the two convicted, then their 'spread sheet' is already well and truly blotted from the past, and some of the incidents have been rather scary for the victims. Three other's (possibly more pending) are still on bail, awaiting further investigations.

  csqwared 27 Sep 12

Bing.alau

I think not. They are arrested to allow the police to question them, a criminal record becomes relevant if there is an actual charge proved in court.

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