A Man's home is his castle. [NZ]


March 29, 2003, 06:59 PM
Clear cut case of self defence, even considering his habit. The case actually reflects that while the Police may prosecute, the Judges are normally favorable.

More at website.

A Man's home is his castle- No one should invade it'.

A year after shooting dead an intruder in his home, Bryan Melrose talks of his night of terror. Donna Chisholm reports.

"I pumped as many bullets as I could into him and he just kept coming at me."

It was, Bryan Melrose agrees, like a scene out of a movie when the hero keeps firing and the bullets ping off the attacker like hailstones.

That's how it felt the night of last April 26 when 120kg Robert Oppert, 47, led a group of three west Auckland youths in the raid on Melrose's cannabis plants.

Oppert was the "minder", the man the group hired to subdue Melrose during the robbery. Oppert, they later agreed in court, was "the meanest mother they could find".

Instead, Melrose, 32, shot Oppert dead.

And last week a high court judge threw out a murder count against him, indicating it was such a clear-cut case of self defence it should not even be put to a jury.

Now for the first time, Melrose and his partner Tania Crook, 34, have spoken publicly about their terrifying ordeal.

The couple were feeding their children, daughter Devon, aged one, and month-old son Cross - born a month prematurely - when they heard a car pull up near the gate of their Helensville home.

When Melrose went to close the gate, he saw a car full of four men parked 20m away, at least three of them armed, their faces covered in balaclavas or hoods.

"I said who is it? What do you want?' The first one came running at me. They said shoot him'. They were sort of marching in single file like a troop of soldiers. They were all wearing black. Black beanies. Black hoodies.

"I ran back to my house to get something to defend myself with. You can't really describe the fear. Words don't do it justice."

He grabbed his .22 rifle out of a wardrobe and came out of his bedroom in time to see Oppert - whom he mistakenly thought was wearing a bullet-proof vest - enter the house.

One of the other intruders fired an air rifle at Melrose as he came to the door. Melrose was loading his gun as Oppert came towards him.

"I told him to leave. I showed him the lounge door. I said I'm going to shoot you. He never said a word. He just came at me like a madman, knocking chairs out of the way and breaking pottery.

"I fired a warning shot into the roof. Then he just kept coming at me, so I fired another shot into his foot. It didn't make any difference. I started shooting towards the groin and it wasn't working. So I fired twice more into his shoulder. I emptied the gun into him."

Melrose says he'd hit Oppert five times but it seemed to make no difference. As Melrose continued to punch him in the head, Oppert wrestled him to the ground before dragging him to his feet, lifting him in the air and throwing him down "in the biggest spear tackle I've ever had".

More at website.


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March 29, 2003, 07:09 PM
In some jurisdictions a person must retreat from a BG, even in his house and can only use deadly force if there is no place left to go. I have a training video discussing when deadly force is justified. One of the incidents they talk about is a man that was attacked and retreated into his house. The BG followed him in and the man retreated into his basement. The BG followed him into the basement, at which time the man shot and killed the BG. The man was charged because there was a door that led from his basement to outside and he didn't keep on running. (Tape is about 15 years old, so it may not still apply to that jurisdiction.)

March 29, 2003, 07:12 PM
I'm glad I am in Texas. Your home is your castle.

Standing Wolf
March 29, 2003, 09:05 PM
It's no accident I live in Colorado, where one's home is one's castle.

March 29, 2003, 10:00 PM
I believe the retreat case HKMP5sd mentioned occurred in CT...they have really weird retreat laws in that state.

March 29, 2003, 10:43 PM
Wonder how well Oppert would have responded to 9 rounds of buckshot out of a 590A1? :p

I'm not a big believer of defending your 'land' with lethal force but I've always said if someone comes in my house and my wife and kids are upstairs, they're gonna get shot a whole bunch of times. If I'm alone in the house, I might try to get them out/subdue them/keep a gun on them until the police show up but I sure has heck ain't gonna let 'em have the chance to do bad things to my kids as long as I can help it.

March 30, 2003, 05:50 AM
And I suggest not using a .22 for home defense, except if it's an American-180.

March 30, 2003, 10:01 PM
Yeah, 200 or so rounds of .22LR oughta do anyone in!

March 30, 2003, 10:59 PM
He said the attackers had described the reign of terror at the house as being "a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10".

To think some of the anti's want it this way in this country. Relying on the testimony of the perpetrators.

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