Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, April 5, 2018

In England, Self Defense = Murder

A pensioner has been arrested after stabbing to death a suspected armed burglar he confronted in his home early today.

The 78-year-old was asleep with his wife in their south London house when he heard noises and woke to challenge two men in the middle of a suspected break-in.

The homeowner was confronted by one of the intruders who was armed with a screwdriver and forced to retreat into his kitchen.
A struggle ensued, the old man knifed the intruder, who died. The cops charged the old man with murder.

Even in the most asinine state in this country, such a pattern of facts would have likely not resulted in any charges. But in England, the old victim is arrested on a murder beef for defending himself against a much younger man who has a record of targeting the elderly.

That has to me one of the most uncivilized things of which I've heard.

The Germans could take the Brits, now. As I said eight years back, all they'd need would be a few battalions of middle-aged to elderly men armed with Mauser rifles. The Brits would shit their pants and surrender.



3383 said...

It's been that way for years in the UK/ England. My understanding is the assailed has to meet the attacker's force with juuuust enough counterforce to repel the attack.

I fail to understand what someone in their 70s is to do when their property or life is threatened, much less be able to tell which a critter is after.

CenterPuke88 said...

3383, if you read the story you’ll see the note about disproportionate response being specifically allowed by law via a 2013 change.

Comrade, you are aware that England doesn’t use a Grand Jury system? Therefore, the Crown files accusatory charges on a case like this regardless to allow legal determinations to be made. Note the charges initially filed were suspicion of grievous bodily harm, then changed to suspicion of murder when the burglar died.

wrm said...

Never mind the Germans... the _French_ could take the Brits right now.

3383 said...

CP88, I did read the story and noted this is happening despite the 2013 change.

Comrade Misfit said...

CP88, so there is no fact-finding done beforehand to see whether or not charges were even warranted?

I cannot think of a jurisdiction here where the authorities would even bother to bring it to a grand jury, let alone arrest the old man. They know that the charges would be no-billed in a heartbeat. And they'd be made to look stupid in the process.

Which is exactly what is happening in this instance.

wrm is right. Break out the Lebel rifles!

CenterPuke88 said...

Comrade, if arrested for a crime in England, you will be taken to the police station. There, if issued a charge sheet, you will either be released on “bail” (not like U.S. bail, just means released before hearing with the understanding you will willingly return to answer questions, etc) or held until a magistrate can hold a hearing. They can hold you 24 hours, or up to 96 for murder, before deciding. In the case here, a charge was be levied amd the judicial system will evaluate and decide. As I understand it, with a dead person, the police will always issues charges to allow the judge to evaluate.

Eck! said...

I'm not a lawyer, so EBM may correct me.

US law and english law are generally similar but process wise very different.

Here (most of USA,not all) we have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. For example you are charged with a crime and appear and depending on circumstance your either judged guilty or released as not guilty. You may be arrested beforehand or not and if arrested you may be charged or not.

English you are typically arrested and charged, there is no presumption of either innocence or guilt. That is the task of the magistrate and may result in finding of no criminal behaviour or further elevation if circumstances indicate a trial is needed to ascertain facts leading to a judgement. Assuming one doesn't plead guilty.

In the end the result is similar, usually. The difference is here we have a general notion and case law that asserts that self defense is a right and an affirmative defense to criminal actions. This is not universal in other countries.

There are other things that can result from that difference but civil law is a whole other world.


Comrade Misfit said...

The other bit of news worth savoring is that for the first time, London has a higher murder rate than New York City.

Dark Avenger said...

It’s good to do a little fact-checking before celebrating.


Looking at 2017, the homicide rate per 100,000 population stood at 1.2 in London and 3.4 in New York.

When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

CenterPuke88 said...

Eck!, excellent summary, I never considered mentioning the innocence presumption difference. I will also note that English “bail” is almost always offered and does not involve cash or property. The grounds for denying bail are basically community threat, flight risk and witness intimidation risk.

DA, your critique for the Comrade is correct for her incorrect use of “rate”, but the Sunapday Times also used this incorrect metric. In 2018, London recorded one more homicide than NYC in both Feb and Mar.

Comrade Misfit said...

The article specifically states that the number of murders is higher for both February and March of this year.

I see your snark about fact-checking and raise you with reading comprehension.

Dark Avenger said...

It could be a statistical anomily, but to say that two months represent a firm trend tells me you need to review of elementary statistics.

Dark Avenger said...

The one thing that's always true about statistics is that there will be blips - sudden rises or falls in the data. These two high months for London could ultimately turn out to be outliers.

We don't yet know. But older data shows why we should be cautious.

In January, for example, the Met investigated eight murders in London. The NYPD looked into 18 killings.

And that means that while Scotland Yard has opened 48 homicide inquiries so far this year, New York has in fact opened 50 murder files.

Glenn Kelley said...

There have been no charges laid.
It appears that there is a difference between being arrested for murder and being charged with murder .

The same situation could have happened here in Canada . in our legal system any life is valued above property no matter what the value.
A very important fact is that the dead guy forced the old man into the kitchen while the other burglar went upstairs where the wife was .
He has no opportunity for further retreat and feared for his wife safety thus he was justified to take extreme action .

CenterPuke88 said...

Indeed, Glenn. You are arrested and they have, in the case of murder, up to 96 hours to deliver a charge sheet. Then the bail or hearing decision is made. On the plus side, the legal system there moves pretty promptly.

3383 said...

Glenn, how does a victim know whether an assailant intends harm or theft?

Glenn Kelley said...

Part of the reason why retreating is important . If you try to put distance between yourself and another person and they pursue you then your probably being threatened.

The trouble with commenting on a country,system ,culture that your not totally familiar with is that you probably don't really understand what is going on .

One of the officers quoted in the follow up newspaper article commented that it was to the old mans advantage to be arrested .
While he didn't elaborate I think in there system his obligation to answer questions is reduced once he was taken into custody .

I can't help noticing that you called the intruder an assailant .