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Expect to be shot if you burgle gun owners


Flak999

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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?

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namtas

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the police have no option but to arrest everyone, otherwise they cannot question them.

Since when? the police dont need to arrest a person to question them

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interzone55

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namtas

Yes they do, otherwise anything that comes out of the questioning would not be admissible in court

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WhiteTruckMan

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You do not have to be arrested to be questioned under caution. You are not obliged to provide any information other than your name and possibly your address, but anything said under such circumstances will be admissable in court.

WTM

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Forum Editor

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If a person is questioned by police about his or her involvement in a criminal offence the questioning must be done under caution. If it isn't, nothing that is said will be admissable as evidence in a subsequent court hearing.

It's not necessary for someone to be arrested before questioning takes place. The usual approach would be for the person concerned to be invited to a police station to be questioned under caution.

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morddwyd

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One regularly hears of persons "assisting the police with their enquiries" who are not under arrest.

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interzone55

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Having never been arrested, or indeed questioned under caution, I wasn't aware of the distinction.

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spuds

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Apparently one thing as come out of this particular incident, is that it as been expressed to the courts, the legal teams and the victims, that this was a large wake-up call to the two who have been convicted and sentenced.

Yesterday evening there was a program on ITV1 Tonight program, were this and similar cases were discussed,including a couple who were involved with the death of a burglar, and possible further proposals of change in the law.

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Forum Editor

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The problem with changes in the law are that they may lead to a whole new raft of difficulties.

In my view, any tendency to relax laws about the use of guns should be strongly resisted. Legal ownership of a gun brings you a big responsibility. You own the weapon for a specific purpose, and your licence does not permit you to decide that you will use the gun to shoot a human being.

Once you understand that fact it gets a bit easier to see why the law is fine as it is. Shoot someone (whatever the circumstances) and you should expect the police to investigate a possible criminal offence. If you held the gun illegally there will be an extra offence to investigate.

As it stands, the law allows you to respond to a perceived threat to your personal safety with enough force to deter or disarm your assailant, but no more. If you have cause to believe that your life is in danger you may act to save yourself, and if you shoot someone in those circumstances you will almost certainly avoid prosecution. The problem for the police lies in determining what the circumstances actually were, given that they may only have your word to go on if you have killed the other person.

In situations where there is considerable room for doubt a society should always try to fail safe, and where the law is concerned that is broadly speaking what happens - there's an assumption of innocence until we decide that the evidence for guilt is such that there is no longer a reasonable doubt. There's no need for that to change, and there's certainly no need for changes in the law that would provide householders with a kind of shooter's charter.

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spuds

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Perhaps a point in the originator's (Flak999) itro to this post, is worthy of further consideration. It was stated "in America if you shoot an intruder dead whilst in your house you are automatically seen as being in the right"

I have just been reading a early morning news report from a place called New Fairfield, which is a town with 15000 residents in the New York Metropolitan area. The report goes on to say that a female neighbour requested help from a male neighbour regarding a possible break-in that was happening to her property. In that incident a hooded person was seen, and when confronted attempted to attack the male neighbour who had come to the female property owner's assistance. The result of that sudden confrontation, was the death by shooting of the person attempting to break into someone else's home.

Tyler Giuliano was a 15 year old boy who was killed. The person who actually shot and killed this boy, was his own father who was unaware that it was his own son. The police are not making or filing any charges against the father.

This incident took place outside a house that had not actually been broken into, with the female resident not facing a possible intruder in her home. I realise this is an American way of law and order, I thought it worthy of a mention.

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Flak999

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Here is a link to the story that spuds has mentioned Man shoots own son

They do things very differently in the US!

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