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Is Shooting/ Attacking A Burglar Defensible?

Attacking burglars  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Is shooting/ attacking a burglar defensible?

    • Yes
      11
    • No
      0
    • I wouldn't know unless faced with the situation
      0
    • It depends on the circumstances
      5


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:D

I was just watching a programme on the Tony Martin case. For those who don't know what happened here is a summary:

 

Tony Martin, a Norfolk farmer shot two burglars who were robbing his home in 1999. His conviction for murder was highly controversial in the UK because many believed the circumstances of the case did not seem to merit the mandatory life sentence associated with murder. The verdict was commuted to manslaughter on appeal.

 

Martin lived in a run-down, isolated farmhouse in Norfolk. He had already been burgled several times. His shotgun license was revoked in the mid 1990's for shooting at an intruder's vehicle, but he had since acquired at least two weapons ilegally.

 

On the night of August 20, 1999 two burglars, Brendon Fearon, 29, and Fred Barras, 16, entered Bleak House. They were shot by Martin, with his shotgun, and attempted to flee. Barras died in the grounds, Fearon was able to leave and got medical assistance. Martin subsequently left the farm and spent the night at a friend's hotel.

 

On 10 January 2000 Fearon and Darren Bark 33 both from Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, admitted to conspiring to burgle Martin's farmhouse. Fearon was sentenced to three years, Bark to 30 months (with an additional 12 months from previous offences). Fearon was released on 10 August 2001.

 

On 10 April 2000 Martin was charged with murder (of Barras), attempted murder (of Fearon), wounding with intent to cause injury (of Fearon) and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

 

At his trial, Martin claimed that on the night of August 20, 1999, he was awoken by sounds in his home. He took his unlicensed shotgun and came downstairs, he claimed, to be confronted by a torch being shone in his face. A 29 year old man, Brendon Fearon, and an accomplice of 16, Fred Barras, were stealing from the house. Martin opened fire three times on the two burglars as they attempted to flee, killing the youth, who was shot in the back, and injuring the older man. Martin was later arrested and charged with the murder of Barras and the wounding of Fearon with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

 

The jury found Martin guilty of murder by a 10 to 2 majority. They had been told that they had the option of returning a verdict of manslaughter if they thought that Tony Martin "did not intend to kill or cause serious bodily harm".

 

Martin was sentenced to life in prison, the mandatory sentence for murder. The case attracted considerable media nd public interest.

 

After appeal, his conviction was reduced to manslaughter, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, and was released after serving over 3 years of his 5 year sentence.

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_en.wikipedia(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/wiki/Tony_Martin_(farmer)"]Read more...[/url]

 

Q: What would you do if you heard intruders in your home, and you owned a gun? Is it 'reasonable force' for any homeowner to attack (with the potential of killing) an intruder to their home, under the defence of protecting ones home and property?

 

Discuss...

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PropellerAds

Yes, shoot them!

 

If you are sure they are breaking in then do what you can to keep them out and protect yourself. You don't know what they will do. The knowledge that they may be killed by homeowners will also be a deterrent for burglars.

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Yes, shoot them!

 

If you are sure they are breaking in then do what you can to keep them out and protect yourself. You don't know what they will do. The knowledge that they may be killed by homeowners will also be a deterrent for burglars.

 

 

I agree totally.

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:D

 

It is ones right to shoot a person in your house! And if i possesed a gun and a person came into my house i would shoot them [i will try to shoot in the leg ro somethng, but if that is not possible then i'd kill 'em]. the safety of my family is more important to me then burglar's safety. Of course if the person is unarmed then i might try to just hold him/her up at gun point and hand him over to the athorities. but i think it is difficult to be calm on such occations...

 

 

 

It is a really absurd thing to have given the poor bloke [for defending his property/house] life sentence!

 

 

w/salaam

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Well ...

 

There's a pretty obvious difference between shooting someone who's coming at you, and shooting someone who's trying to flee. (Bullet holes in the chest or the back?) But in general, theft isn't a capital offense, so you're not justified in killing someone for stealing. (Of course, buckshot at 30 yards won't kill anyone, but it'll be a lot of hours pulling it out of one's hide.) And if a burglar gets away with a little buckshot donation, he's not likely to call the police.

 

Not that I'd ever recommend shooting someone except in defense of life and limb.

 

Here in Florida, though, it's perfectly legal to shoot trespassers now. The new law is kind of barbaric, I think, but it's the law.

 

In peace, Jesse

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Salaam,

 

the reason we say a homeowner can take 'reasonable' action is deliberately vague in order to allow flexibility. If a person is in your home and you killed them with a kitchen knife, a hockey stick or a hammer then you will NOT be prosecuted under teh law as it stands today. You as the rightful dweller of the home felt reasonable fear, the weapons you used were not kept as deliberately offensive weapons and you made a reasonable defense of yourself.

 

There have only been two occaions where someone was prosecuted for attacking a burgular. One is Tony Martin where he shot the people in the back with and illegal shot gun on his land (not in his home), the other is a case where a man chased a burgular down the street repetedly stabbing him in the back.

 

In both cases the homeowners were prosecuted for using unreasonable force.

 

If you do not agree that the line should be drawn at 'reasonable and proportional force' then you are advocating 'unreasonable and disproportionate force'. Legally, you can do almost anything to an intruder into you home provided there is no evidence of pre-mediation on your part.

 

Peace and Love,,

DARLA

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Salaam,

 

the reason we say a homeowner can take 'reasonable' action is deliberately vague in order to allow flexibility. If a person is in your home and you killed them with a kitchen knife, a hockey stick or a hammer then you will NOT be prosecuted under teh law as it stands today. You as the rightful dweller of the home felt reasonable fear, the weapons you used were not kept as deliberately offensive weapons and you made a reasonable defense of yourself.

 

Peace,

 

In the case of Tony Martin, the argument made by the prosecution was that he kept the gun in his room in the event that he would be burgled a further time. Are you saying then, that if he had kept a knife, or any other weapon for that matter, under his bed, he would have recieved a lesser sentence, just because he uses that same knife to cut his bread of a morning? Surely it is the intention, and not the weapon that determines whether reasonable force is used. Also, how is one to know whether the intruder is armed or otherwise? Hence what could be seen as 'reasonable force' if the said intruder was also carrying a shotgun, could easily be seen as 'unreasonable force' if they were not. It may be true that only two cases have existed where people have been prosecuted for using 'unreasonable force' however, how many people have been attacked, raped or killed after disturbing a burglar helping themselves to the home-owners belongings?

 

If someone chooses to enter your home, they should do so in the knowledge that the homeowner is protected by the law to do anything they feel necessary to protect themselves.

 

Also, shooting someone in the back doesn't necessarily mean they are fleeing. They could just be in the process of rifling through your belongings.

 

I do agree, however that chasing someone down a street to repeatedly stab them is a completely different matter. To clarify, the question is specific to what you would do to an intruder if you confronted them inside your home.

 

On a more personal note, I don't know whether I could bring myself to confront an intruder in my home let alone challenge them. I just feel nothing but sympathy for anybody who has been through such a horrifying experience. It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about how they manage to cope with it, and I therefore fully support the victim in going to whatever lengths their situation demands, to protect their home and family.

 

With peace.

Edited by emel

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Salaam,

 

concerning the breadknife example, quite simply-yes.

 

You are right to say it is the intention which matters. For example, if I go out into the street with a kitchen knife in my bag to take it round to a friend's house it is not an offensive weapon. If I get attacked and use it, it is ok because the intention was taking to the friend.

 

If I carry the same knife around in my handbag for self protection it does become an offensive weapon and so carries a different penalty when used.

 

In order to commit a crime in the UK the perpetrator must have mense rea (bad intention/thought) and actus rea (the bad deed).

 

If someone chooses to enter your home, they should do so in the knowledge that the homeowner is protected by the law to do anything they feel necessary to protect themselves.

 

this is the status quo. Almost any action taken by a homeowner is deemed reasonable. The homeowner doesnt need to proove that the burgualr had a gun, it is sufficient that he truly believed ther was that possibility.

 

In the two cases where there was prosecution the police and jury deemed that the home owner had not acted to protect himself but rather to take summary revenge on the burgular.

 

Put it bluntly: inside your house, anything goes. Outside your house, be aware of vigilantism.

 

Peace and Love,

 

DARLA

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asslamulaikum

 

Volume 9, Book 83, Number 38a:

Narrated Anas:

 

A man peeped into one of the dwelling places of the Prophet. The Prophet got up and aimed a sharp-edged arrow head (or wooden stick) at him to poke him stealthily.

 

 

and thats just for peeping in and not breaking in!!!

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Assalamu'Alikum,

 

Well at the time one doesn't really know if he/she is a burglar or murderer!! So I think one should do what one needs to do in order for him to be gone.

 

Wa'Salam.

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:D

 

If someone enters my house at day or night and threatens my family or me, then all laws go out of the window in my eyes and it is my duty to protect myeslf and my family by any means necessary.

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:D

 

here in south africa, if a burglar enters your house, the best defence is offence. there have been many cases of people being shot in burglaries (too many :D :D ) if tehy resisted, and even if they let the burglar take whatever he wanted.

 

:D

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salaamulaikum:

i live in an area which is very scantily populated..dacoities,i.e., armed robberies are usual in this area..i shifted here 4 years ago and i never had any fears, because:

1. my life style is so simple/frugal, that anyone can tell i have nothing worth robbing.

2.since the Masjid is 1.8 kilometers away, and because i have patients living in, we usually say the asar and maghrib prayers (in summer)...and the zuhar and asar prayers (in winter) on the rooftop...this allows all prospective burglars the vision of simple ,pretention free living.

BUT:

if anyone would ever dishonour my right to privacy in my abode, i would surely want to make an example to deterr any future repititions by anyone; however if i shot, i would aim for the legs...i would not want to kill anyone, not for my personal property/belongings.

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