(UK) Man who killed knife intruder denies murder


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Mk VII
August 4, 2004, 03:17 PM
Man who killed knife intruder denies murder
[London Daily Telegraph]
(Filed: 04/08/2004)
A builder who fatally stabbed a man armed with a knife who broke into his home and allegedly threatened to kill him has been put on trial for murder.
David Armstrong, 39, who denies murder, is on trial at Lewes Crown Court in East Sussex for killing Anthony Banks, 43, a former friend and business partner.
Mr Banks was also the estranged husband of Barbara Banks, who had moved into Armstrong's home in Lewes. The jury has been told that Armstrong claims that he acted in self-defence after Mr Banks arrived at 3am one morning and tried to smash down his front door. When that failed, Mr Banks, who had been drinking and had taken cocaine and cannabis, broke in through a window, telling Armstrong he was "a dead man".
As he came through the window, Armstrong said that he "prodded" at him through a curtain with a kitchen knife. Mr Banks was stabbed at least five times in the head and neck. He died in hospital.
The court was told that Mr Banks had twice before broken into the flat, smashing furniture and assaulting Mrs Banks, because he was enraged that she had left him for Armstrong after 20 years of marriage. Richard Anelay, QC, prosecuting, said Mr Banks telephoned Armstrong and sent text messages several times in the hours before the killing. After a call in which Mr Banks allegedly said that he was coming round with a knife to kill his love rival, Armstrong dialled 999 to tell the police, but Mrs Banks persuaded him to hang up because she did not want her estranged husband locked up over Christmas.
At about 3am on Dec 15, Mr Banks drove from his home in Brighton to Armstrong's flat. Mr Anelay said that Mr Banks tried to break down the front door, shouting: "Dave, you pervert, open the door." Mr Anelay said that when Mr Banks failed to break through, he picked up a dustbin lid and smashed it through the kitchen window. He said that a neighbour saw Mr Banks pull himself on to the window sill "pushing out of the way a curtain" as if to enter the flat. "She also noticed something sticking out of his back right trouser pocket, but he did not remove it. It later transpired that it was a fishing knife," Mr Anelay said. The neighbour then heard a woman screaming and saw Mr Banks collapse, losing much blood.
Mr Anelay said that Armstrong claimed that Mr Banks, when banging on the door, looked through the letterbox and threatened to kill him, then thrust a knife through, which Armstrong said he recognised as Mr Banks's fishing knife. "Nobody else saw this and the knife was later recovered, in its sheath, from the back pocket of Tony's jeans," Mr Anelay said. He said that as Mr Banks tried to enter the kitchen window, Mrs Banks tried to give Armstrong a clock she had picked up with which to fend off any attack, but he did not take it and she saw that he had a knife in his left hand "which he then lunged down in the area of Tony's neck and shoulder".She saw Armstrong lunge another three or four times, seeing the knife last "when it went into Tony's head". Mr Banks then slumped back out of the window.
When interviewed by police, Armstrong said he could not actually see Mr Banks because his head was covered by curtains. He said that he only "prodded" and "poked" the knife through the curtain. But Mr Anelay said that Mr Banks had not been threatening anyone with a knife and could have been disabled with the clock. Armstrong, he said, had already called the police and could have played for time. It was not self defence.

The trial continues.

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Brasso
August 4, 2004, 04:36 PM
Jolly 'Ole England.

How far they have fallen.

Cosmoline
August 4, 2004, 04:40 PM
Where's Agricola to explain the inherent logic of this one? "Civilisation" indeed.

R.H. Lee
August 4, 2004, 04:45 PM
A once great world power reduced to a land of quivering blissninnies.

TheEgg
August 4, 2004, 05:16 PM
[British accent on]

This heinous act clearly illustrates why no man needs a knife. We must ban all knives in our country to prevent such awful incidents!!!!

[British accent off]

cordex
August 4, 2004, 05:25 PM
David stabbed Tony more than he got stabbed, didn't he?

That's murder.

jnojr
August 4, 2004, 05:48 PM
After a call in which Mr Banks allegedly said that he was coming round with a knife to kill his love rival, Armstrong dialled 999 to tell the police, but Mrs Banks persuaded him to hang up because she did not want her estranged husband locked up over Christmas.

No doubt the feminists will go nutso when I say "Stupid bitch!", but...

Stupid bitch!

Bubbles
August 4, 2004, 06:19 PM
Stupid B!tch

I was thinking the same thing.

This article sounds almost like something you'd find on The Onion. Too bad it's not...

carpettbaggerr
August 4, 2004, 09:13 PM
Armstrong said that he "prodded" at him through a curtain with a kitchen knife. Mr Banks was stabbed at least five times in the head and neck. He died in hospital. Even in England, perjury is a Very Bad Idea. Don't lie to the cops, you'll go to jail.

Beren
August 4, 2004, 09:59 PM
He meant to say "prodded vigorously."

Standing Wolf
August 4, 2004, 11:35 PM
England is the country that lost the American Revolution.

agricola
August 5, 2004, 02:44 AM
lets wait until we hear more of the facts before making comments please?

oh wait, this is THR talking about a "self defence" issue in the UK - i guess it means we will make statements subsequently found to be rubbish, based on no evidence other than "what someone heard down the range" (or of course from a "commentator" whose argument will be so thin and full of holes it might as well be a vagrants jumper), then forget making them.

as it happens, based on that i doubt he will get done for murder - but manslaughter is a far more likely verdict

AF_INT1N0
August 5, 2004, 02:58 AM
http://www.a-human-right.com/RKBA/s_solution2.jpg

Nuff Said.

:neener:

:neener: :neener: :neener: :neener:

Iain
August 5, 2004, 04:30 AM
Armstrong said that he "prodded" at him through a curtain with a kitchen knife. Mr Banks was stabbed at least five times in the head and neck. He died in hospital.

It does take quite a 'prod' to produce this result:

She saw Armstrong lunge another three or four times, seeing the knife last "when it went into Tony's head".

Let's see how this one works out before jumping to conclusions (I am aware I am repeating Ag, but it probably bears repeating.)

With that I am off to my brothers wedding, will be gone for several days. Bye for now.

Zedicus
August 5, 2004, 10:49 AM
LOL, Nice one AF_INT1N0, gotta Love Oleg's Captions eh?:D

Zundfolge
August 5, 2004, 11:26 AM
as it happens, based on that i doubt he will get done for murder - but manslaughter is a far more likely verdict
Fine, not murder but where is the justice in a manslaughter convictions?

The deceased broke into the defendant's home and threatened to kill him ... in what twisted world do you live in where defending yourself against such a threat is manslaughter?


I understand the plea to "wait for all the facts" but do you honestly believe that if the facts are as they have been presented here that this man deserves a conviction for manslaughter?

agricola
August 5, 2004, 12:09 PM
zundfolge,

The deceased broke into the defendant's home and threatened to kill him ... in what twisted world do you live in where defending yourself against such a threat is manslaughter?

the two important parts of that story that form the main focal points of this case (as revealed in that article) are:

i) the only person to have seen the knife is the defendant
ii) the only person to have heard the threat against his life is the defendant
iii) whether the only option to the defendant was to stab the deceased

take these out - as the prosecution will try to do - and the case is weaker (and the "i just prodded him a few times with the knife" sounds very hollow to me) and might lead to a conviction.

once again, please do not assume that the defence is telling the truth automatically

Zundfolge
August 5, 2004, 12:17 PM
once again, please do not assume that the defence is telling the truth automatically

I'm not, but the undisputed facts of the case are pretty clear ... the deceased has clearly broken and entered and has a history of violent behavior after breaking and entering this very residence.

That alone is enough for me (and the laws where I live ... yes I understand this poor fellow lives in the UK not Colorado).

CZ-100
August 5, 2004, 01:02 PM
IM sure glade that our GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, Grandfathers Kicked their butts....

Or this could be us.. :evil:

Mixlesplick
August 6, 2004, 04:15 AM
If this was an armed home invasion like it sounds than then I heartily applaud this outcome. There should be no prosecution but this is Engand so good luck to Mr. Armstrong.

Stand_Watie
August 6, 2004, 08:17 AM
If this was an armed home invasion like it sounds than then I heartily applaud this outcome. There should be no prosecution but this is Engand so good luck to Mr. Armstrong.

Even if it was an unarmed home invasion the outcome was good right up until the law got involved.

JohnBT
August 6, 2004, 01:09 PM
I'd wager the Royal Navy doesn't teach that the preferred method of repelling boarders is to 'clock' them.

Or maybe they do. :)

Stuck, prodded, poked - what's the difference?

John

Little Loudmouth
August 6, 2004, 02:18 PM
Ah, England....reduced to this....

agricola
August 6, 2004, 02:28 PM
JohnBT,

Stuck, prodded, poked - what's the difference?

but who "prods" someone with a knife? better to say that, if thats what happened, you were in fear of your life from an armed assailant and you used the appropriate force - ie: "stabbed him as hard as i could to make him stop"

it seems strange to claim self defence when in fear for your and a loved ones life and yet claim that you only poked him a bit. that said, there is almost certainly a lot more to this than in the report - few papers have taken this up as an "outrage of justice" story, usually a good sign (given that they do pick em up and embroider em when you could argue the toss)

Grey54956
August 6, 2004, 05:28 PM
Interesting...

I never thought of using a clock for home defense...

Damn England! We need to send troops there next,

Art Eatman
August 6, 2004, 07:06 PM
The deceased certainly must have been "feeling no pain" from one cause or another. He stuck around to be stuck four or five times in this prod-mania. Generally, I'd figure a fella who got prodded with a knife just once would leave. Pain, generally, is painful. Gotta give the deceased credit for perseverance.

Two folks said there was a threatening phone call, along with the other forms of warning. It's up to the State to prove otherwise, under most U.S. states' laws. Unless the accused has a history of lying, he's to be believed in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

This was a repeat by the deceased of earlier attacks? Shame on his sorry butt. Third time was the charm, it seems.

Here in Texas, I've been on a jury in a voluntary manslaughter case, and a witness in a murder case. I've been on three other juries. Based on those experiences as to jurors' judgements and thoughts, the accused would walk. Or, given the history of previous violent attacks on the part of the deceased, a Grand Jury would not have brought an indictment in this case of self-defense.

Art

Stand_Watie
August 6, 2004, 09:36 PM
Or, given the history of previous violent attacks on the part of the deceased, a Grand Jury would not have brought an indictment in this case of self-defense.

I think that would be the most likely outcome. Texas (and I suspect most states) prosecutors know the chances of them getting a jury to convict on such a case are slim to zilch, and so are a lot more likely to present an unbiased presentation of fact to the grand jury.

Be glad that our constitutional framers set up a bill of rights that couldn't be easily changed when it became inconvenient for the prosecutors or we might have lost our right to a grand jury indictment or to a requirement of a unanimous jury conviction like they have in some places.

agricola
August 7, 2004, 03:59 AM
Art,

no, one person said there was a threatening phone call - Armstrong himself (his wife did not hear the threat, and it seems strange that in response to an ex-husband, who has already attacked her at least twice, calls up and says he is coming around again with a knife to kill her boyfriend and she persuades him out of calling Police), and its worth noting that the text messages that were sent - which would be retreviable were not described as threatening.

As for:

Unless the accused has a history of lying, he's to be believed in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

well, art, we dont know that that isnt the case - most people here are (again) basing their usual conclusions on one article. for all we know, Armstrong might be a bloke with a long history of violence who tired of the ex being in his girlfriends life, decided to put him out of the picture lured the ex around to his house, taunted him into climbing into the window and then stabbed him as he was unawares.

Just like the last time we had this debate, in which a good many people - not just here, but across the whole industry of UK-panners - ended up with a great deal of egg upon their faces.

Still, I guess it will be as amusing if it happens again.

Don Gwinn
August 7, 2004, 01:36 PM
1. The whole argument over his use of the word "prodded" is stupid. First of all, I thought the English were supposed to be good at dry, witty understatement. Second of all, he may have used the word "prodded," but never did he deny that he did the "prodding" with a KNIFE. When you prod someone with a knife, stab wounds result. "Prod" is an odd choice of words, but it's not dishonest unless he said he didn't use a knife to do it.

2. The argument of whether he "could have played for time" or he "should have used the clock instead" is idiotic. How does the distinguished gentleman in the story suggest anyone use a clock to disable an attacker? By "clocking" him on the head, one assumes? Well, that's deadly force in the United States. Maybe the "beer bottle culture" in England leads to a different attitude.
The whole idea that, when presented a good opportunity to STOP a murderous intruder, you should instead be thinking of ways to delay and annoy him until the police arrive, is similarly stupid. I could stop him now, but I should settle for delaying him and hoping luck goes my way from then on? No thanks.

3. Art, actually it's not uncommon to get stabbed multiple times rather than once or twice. People can thrust pretty fast, and a lot of the time a person hepped up in a fight doesn't even feel the blade enter. The sharper and pointier the knife, the easier it is not to notice.

4. (his wife did not hear the threat, and it seems strange that in response to an ex-husband, who has already attacked her at least twice, calls up and says he is coming around again with a knife to kill her boyfriend and she persuades him out of calling Police)
That seems strange to you? I thought you were a police officer? It's incredibly stupid behavior, yes, but pretty well par for the course in domestic violence/love triangle/cheating hearts situations. Have you been on a domestic call?
I would imagine the words "he doesn't really mean it, he's just drunk" were repeated several times in that conversation. I have no trouble at all believing it.

5. for all we know, Armstrong might be a bloke with a long history of violence who tired of the ex being in his girlfriends life, decided to put him out of the picture lured the ex around to his house, taunted him into climbing into the window and then stabbed him as he was unawares.
Absolutely. That is just as possible as any other theory, including that Armstrong is an MI6 agent under deep cover working to discover the secrets of French cooking, and French counterintelligence agents kidnapped the ex-husband, brainwashed him into murderous intent, and dropped him off at the house to attack Armstrong, knowing Armstrong would fight back and thus get thrown in the gaol, from which he could not be released without blowing his cover, thus safeguarding the secret French art of putting sauce on everything in sight.
This would also explain the deceased's curious use of phrases like "your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries" when the "threatening" phone call was made.

However, Occam's razor makes that one unlikely, and it also makes short work of the theory that the other man was "lured" to the house and made against his will to climb in the window, after being forced against his will to smash the door with a trash can lid, even though he had a clear motive for doing all of that on his own. It's POSSIBLE, and only the trial will tell, but to claim it's irresponsible not to treat the merest possibility as equally likely as the story that fits the facts so far in evidence is to suggest the futility of reason.

Thanks for coming out. And because I just can't stand not to pick at the scab, to which episode do you refer when you mention egg on faces?

Stand_Watie
August 7, 2004, 02:03 PM
Absolutely. That is just as possible as any other theory, including that Armstrong is an MI6 agent under deep cover working to discover the secrets of French cooking, and French counterintelligence agents kidnapped the ex-husband, brainwashed him into murderous intent, and dropped him off at the house to attack Armstrong, knowing Armstrong would fight back and thus get thrown in the gaol, from which he could not be released without blowing his cover, thus safeguarding the secret French art of putting sauce on everything in sight.
This would also explain the deceased's curious use of phrases like "your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries" when the "threatening" phone call was made

:D

I have to admit that when I read the statement you're referencing my thought was "if my aunt had b**** she'd be my uncle".

agricola
August 7, 2004, 03:20 PM
don,

that would be this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=72745&perpage=25&highlight=carl%20lindsay&pagenumber=3) or this one (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=72967&highlight=lindsay)

also, if we eliminate conjecture based on little or no evidence, where does that leave everyone else on this thread who has unleashed the "look how bad things are in the UK" flock of geese? It never ceases to amaze me how so many people get away with making comments that are demonstrably false (including what passes for paid commentators on this issue) and yet anyone who dares to object simply has to provide his or her evidence.

besides, we all know what happens next:

i) Armstrong found not guilty, leading to embarassed bleats about self defence not being illegal in the UK but the cops shouldnt have prosecuted him etc etc

ii) Armstrong being found guilty after the evidence clearly shows him to be so, followed by a long silence on this board, until the next "UK self defence" trial in which I mention it;

iii) Armstrong being found guilty after the evidence clearly shows him to be so, followed by a long litany of ignorant comment in which the spectre of Tony Martin, Barry Lee Hastings and other "Miscarriages of Justice" are raised, to be allied to various comments on the revolutionary war, the need to send troops to the UK (despite us being your only allies whose country has been in existence for more than a hundred years at the moment) led by slogans courtesy of KABA.org;

Cosmoline
August 7, 2004, 03:41 PM
Agricola, you have some valid points about the lack of evidence before us. There is indeed much we do not know. And truth be told if this were a Palmer or Anchorage DA bringing charges I'd be inclined to assume that there was more we simply did not know from the newspapers. BUT this is most certainly NOT the Anchorage or Palmer DA bringing charges. Rather it is the arm of a government I would stand in open and violent rebellion against were I forced to live under its weight. I don't trust anything said or done by British law enforcement, and I've learned to be wary of the British press. Were I and my truck to be teleported to GB right this moment, I would be considered a violent felon and put in prison for many decades simply because of certain items on my person and in my vehicle. So I'm inclined to believe the word of ANY BRITISH CITIZEN claiming self-defense over the word of a government degenerating into rank socialist tyranny.

Nothing personal, I just can't stand the disease that's taken over your Parliament and apparently spread through the nation.

iapetus
August 7, 2004, 06:08 PM
TheEgg
Senior Member

Registered: Dec 2002
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 411


[British accent on]

This heinous act clearly illustrates why no man needs a knife. We must ban all knives in our country to prevent such awful incidents!!!!

[British accent off]

Well, Blunkett (our Home Secretary) is wanting to strengthen the knife laws to make "carrying a knife as serious as carrying a gun". (But I don't know if he simply means increasing the penalties for breaking the current laws on carrying Offensive Weapons, or if we wants to owtlaw knives that are currently legal to carry. I have found very little info about this, so can't even post any links. Maybe Agricola knows more?).


That said, as a couple of people have said, its best to wait for the details before making judegments on this case.

There was a case recently where a man found an intruder in his girlfriend's home, fought with him and killed him in the process ("I feard for the safety of my girlfriend and child"), and was charged with murder (to much popular outcry).

Except it then turned out that:

i) The girlfriend and child were not in at the time (and he knew that).

ii) He had split up with the girlfriend anyway.

iii) He had previous convictions for burglary and assault.

So it was as likely as anything else that he had planned on burgling (or worse) his ex, encountered a rival burglar, and killed him to keep him off his turf.

agricola
August 7, 2004, 06:46 PM
iapetus,

that case was of Barry Lee Hastings:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2335975.stm

not sure about his intending to burgle his ex, but you can add to the list his (like Martin and the Lindsay case) main reason for conviction being that he used the deadly force, not in defence but as the burglar was fleeing (all the wounds being inflicted in the back as the man lay face down on the floor).

i doubt Blunkett will manage to push a mandatory sentence for off weap of five years through the Courts.

agricola
August 11, 2004, 12:59 PM
he was found not guilty by the way

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/southern_counties/3553100.stm

goalie
August 11, 2004, 01:12 PM
So, tell me again why he was put on trial? What evidence was there that he had committed murder in the first place? Or, was he put on trial because he dared to use deadly force, even if legal, and the British government just cannot tolorate that, can it????

agricola
August 11, 2004, 01:20 PM
goalie,

there was some evidence that he had murdered him which is why he was charged, why he was put on trial, why the judge didnt throw the case out, and in the end it was that evidence that the jury examined, and acquitted him.

its one in the eye for all those "self defence is illegal in the UK" types, though bleating that he shouldnt have been put on trial anyway is of course to be expected.

HankB
August 11, 2004, 02:34 PM
i) the only person to have seen the knife is the defendant
ii) the only person to have heard the threat against his life is the defendant
iii) whether the only option to the defendant was to stab the deceased
i) Actually, it would be proper to say that the only person who had seen the knife being used by the alleged perp was the alleged victim. The knife actually was found in the perp's possession, so the evidence is that he WAS in fact armed.
ii) I would actually phrase this as "the only person to have heard the threat against his life is the alleged victim." And I don't regard this as particularly significant . . . it's not often that violent home invaders will take care to utter their threats in front of witnesses.
iii) Stabbing the deceased is an excellent alternative when the powers-that-be deny you the means of shooting him.

goalie
August 11, 2004, 03:19 PM
though bleating that he shouldnt have been put on trial anyway is of course to be expected.



Oh, I had to laugh at that one. Bleating. Boy oh boy that is good.

(I hate to break this to you, but YOU'RE the sheep. Baaaaa Baaaaaa is the noise you make when someone breaks into your home. I, on the other hand, am allowed to add a few letters, N and G specifically. When added, it goes Baaaang Baaaaang instead of Baaaaaa Baaaaa. It is also pretty much universally recognized as being more effective than bleating.)

agricola
August 11, 2004, 03:30 PM
lol

glad you liked it goalie, its also almost as amusing to see you retreat into stereotype when its mentioned as well. cant challenge the facts, or yet another blow to the "self defence is illegal" argument, so we trot out all the old favourites.


hank,

the phrasing of those was to show you all what the prosecution would be making of those facts -

yes, the perp was armed but that isnt to say that he had threatened him with it (indeed, it could even be that, given the nature of the relationship between the perp, the defendant and the ex-wife that it couldnt have been planted on him)

the same goes for the uttered threat, which would provide some of the self-defence argument. If this had been (for example) recorded, then i doubt very much that it would have even got to trial. the lack of anyone else witnessing it would have given the Crown an in there.

finally, thats what the prosecution would have tried to present - whether it was reasonable to stab him. Obviously, many here would say that it was (and the jury agreed with him, so it was), but thats not to say someone should not have put it to the jury to determine that.

goalie
August 11, 2004, 03:51 PM
glad you liked it goalie, its also almost as amusing to see you retreat into stereotype when its mentioned as well. cant challenge the facts, or yet another blow to the "self defence is illegal" argument, so we trot out all the old favourites.

Again, you are wrong. I am not stereotyping that self defense is illegal, in fact, I never said that self-defense in the UK was illegal, what I am stating is the fact that, for you, owning firearms to use for self defense IS illegal. Big difference. You can ignore the facts all you want, you can attempt to twist the meaning of the words I type all you want, but you cannot keep a loaded handgun in your nightstand to protect yourself if someone tries a home invasion. And, last time I checked, those are more common in London than where I live.

Facts. Love them or hate them, you still have to live with them.

agricola
August 11, 2004, 03:54 PM
goalie,

er..... "home invasions" are more common in the US than they are over here.

We have a higher burglary rate, but its (comparatively rare) that these turn into aggravated burglaries / robberies in the home, which is what a home invasion is.

Master Blaster
August 11, 2004, 04:18 PM
In the state of Delaware I have no duty to retreat. If a person came to my house and smashed in the window, and then advanced on me and my wife with a weapon, and a prior history of violent attacks upon us and a restraining order,
(he was previously arrested for assaulting these folks, and here that would result in a no contact/ restraining order issued by the court) I could shoot him as many times as it took for him to stop moving, and being a threat.

Thats the law in the State I live in. Your house is your castle, no duty to retreat, If you fear for your life, deadly force is justified.

The idea of using a clock???? In my bloodthirsty state any bludgeon is considered deadly force, and the instrument is considered a deadly weapon.
If I hit this gent with a clock its the same level of force as shooting him, under the law, its deadly force.

Mk VII
August 11, 2004, 06:51 PM
if there was homicide (justifiable or no) we here would normally expect to see the matter put before a jury, unless the case was so overwhelming as to fail the CPS's "insufficient prospect of a conviction" test to be worth procedding with.
We have no Grand Juries here, the institution having been abolished about 1933.

JohnBT
August 11, 2004, 10:29 PM
"That said, as a couple of people have said, its best to wait for the details before making judegments on this case."

I beg to differ. Let the court of law wait on the facts, most of us want to chat amicably amongst ourselves about our former lords and masters - the twits - I mean the English (excepting the Queen, of course, because she ordered the Star Spangled Banner played one morning a few years ago so she gets a pass.)

All in all I'd rather be in Scotland or Ireland.

John

P.S. - Just kidding. If you can't take a joke...

Rebeldon
August 12, 2004, 12:29 AM
It seems that in the UK, if you kill anyone in self-defense, nomatter what the circumstances, you will automatically be charged with murder. And the burden of proof is on the defendent to prove himself innocent.

agricola
August 12, 2004, 02:37 AM
rebeldon,

please present your evidence for that statement.

tyme
August 12, 2004, 02:37 AM
Agricola, I think the most serious problem I have with this story is that, if we can agree that the deceased (Banks) broke into Armstrong's house, I don't really care whether he had a knife or a shoe or a bottle opener. Breaking into someone else's house at night is a suicide attempt, and nobody should be charged for aiding the criminal with his attempted suicide. It seems England no longer recognizes castle doctrine, if it ever did.

Please also note that:
1) the story says Mr. Banks was on drugs at the time
2) the story says a knife was found on Mr. Banks

If those are true, how can you *possibly* justify putting Mr. Armstrong on trial? He should have waited to be attacked before he killed Mr. Banks? What if Mr. Banks wanted to cook popcorn and have sex with his ex? Would that be justification for Mr. Armstrong to defend himself?

I mean, really. What does it take to justify defending oneself against a drugged man with a knife who breaks into one's home at 3am? I think all of those are facts; we can ignore the alleged threats at the moment.

Or is your position that Mr. Armstrong invited Mr. Banks in for a drink before they got into a tussle, that there was no break-in?

agricola
August 12, 2004, 03:14 AM
tyme,

i refer you to mk VII's post

tyme
August 12, 2004, 04:30 AM
Okay, that explains why he's on trial but not why you think conviction for manslaughter is a likely result.

agricola
August 12, 2004, 04:39 AM
tyme,

havent you been reading? he was acquitted.

Master Blaster
August 12, 2004, 07:13 AM
Builder cleared of man's murder
A man who killed his lover's estranged husband by stabbing him in the head and neck has been cleared of murder.

David Armstrong, 39, stabbed Anthony Banks, from Whitehawk, Brighton, after Mr Banks broke into his home in Mill Road, Lewes, Lewes Crown Court heard.

Mr Armstrong, who denied murder and manslaughter, was cleared after a jury decided he had acted in self-defence.

The court heard how Mr Banks, 43, broke into the flat after his wife left him to live with Mr Armstrong, a builder.

Fishing knife

Mr Banks was said to have devastated by the break-up of his 24-year marriage and jurors heard how he had allegedly broken into Mr Armstrong's home twice before, smashing up the flat with a hammer and assaulting his estranged wife Barbara.

On the evening he died, Mr Banks was described as having consumed alcohol and drugs before breaking into the flat armed with a fishing knife and "screaming like a madman".

Mr Armstrong, who had received threatening phone calls from him that evening, grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed him at least five times in the head and neck, the court heard.

The jury took nearly five hours to decide he had acted out of self-defence because he feared for both his life and that of Mrs Banks.

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