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British farmer, jailed for shooting burglar, seeks better self-defence laws for UK

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Preacherman, Jul 19, 2003.

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  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    From the Telegraph, London (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...art19.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/07/19/ixhome.html):

    Martin to fight for rights of burgled householders

    By John Steele
    (Filed: 19/07/2003)

    Tony Martin, the farmer jailed for the manslaughter of a burglar, will campaign after his release this month for better legal protection for householders who defend themselves against intruders, his MP said yesterday.

    He will also work for changes in the law to stop burglars obtaining legal aid to sue homeowners for compensation if they are injured during a break-in.

    Henry Bellingham, Conservative MP for North West Norfolk, met Martin at Highpoint Prison, Suffolk, to discuss changes to the law.

    Martin, 58, is due to leave prison on July 28 after two thirds of his sentence for the manslaughter of Fred Barras, 16, who was shot during a burglary at Martin's Norfolk farmhouse.

    Barras's fellow burglar, Brendon Fearon, who was wounded in the raid on Martin's home in Emneth Hungate in 1999, is suing the farmer for £15,000 compensation.

    Martin was jailed for life after being convicted of murder in April 2000, but the Court of Appeal reduced the conviction to manslaughter and cut the sentence to five years.

    Mr Bellingham said Martin was worried about security arrangements at his farm when he was released.
     
  2. agricola

    agricola Member

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    note to martin:

    a law protecting homeowners right to self defence will only work if the homeowner actually acts in self defence, and not shoots them in the back as they run off.
     
  3. MicroBalrog

    MicroBalrog member

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    note to Agricola: Don't burgle people's houses and you won't get shot.:D
     
  4. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    If you can't protect your property that you have worked for (and the police certainly won't protect it for you), then you have no property. Might as well just quit working and go on welfare ... then it's the govt's property (bought with money the govt gave to you) that's being stolen. (sarcasm alert!)

    When property is stolen, it is like stealing a piece of someone's life - the time that you had to work to earn the money to buy the property. If property can't be defended, then they might as well rank murder according to the age of the victim - the older the victim, the less the penalty because the thief (murderer) stole fewer years of the victim's life.

    The US is about as bad as the UK in this respect.

    What I don't understand is why a private business such as a bank is allowed to hire an armed guard to protect its property, but a private citizen can't protect their own property? Is corporate property somehow worth more than an individual's property? (now we know who the "lords" are - the artificial persons known as corporations)

    The burglar who got shot in the back won't steal anything ever again.

    That's just $0.02 from one of those vulgar Americans .... :neener:
     
  5. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    agricola,

    The burglar who's suing Mr. Martin...what use does he have for money in prison? Wait, let me guess, he's not in prison, right?

    Poor fellow, he deserves a settlement. Even if he's not physically disabled, he's been so psychologically traumatized that he can no longer follow his career of choice:rolleyes:

    Tell you what, why don't you tell the poor young burglar to move to the US?

    Either Georgia or Texas will do nicely. It won't make a difference that he was trying to escape from his crime.
     
  6. agricola

    agricola Member

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    byron,

    there is a difference between Brendon Fearon suing Martin, and him winning that action. You should be able to sue anyone based on what you consider to be your wronging, or injustice; thats not the same as winning.
     
  7. trooper

    trooper Member

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    I'll have to side with my fellow European here :))) (someone's gotta be the opposition, right?)


    It'd be fine with me if Martin had shot the guy while he was assaulting him.

    But if you actually advocate shooting a petty criminal in the back while he flees from the scene you are in fact recommending capital punishment for theft, and that's not right in my book.

    Terry Martin did wrong, and was rightly convicted for it.

    It's a problem that supporters of lawful self-defense (among which I count myself, too) made some sort of hero out of him.

    This kind of behaviour just convinces people that we are nothing but a bunch of whackos who are bent on using their toys someday.


    Regards,

    Trooper
     
  8. MicroBalrog

    MicroBalrog member

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    Trooper:
    I disagree.

    The reason is not because I think all home-invaders desperately deserve to be shot, but rather because home-owners are extremely likely to shoot them.

    Here's what I mean. People are inclined to believe that their home is their fortress, the safest place in the world. That is why victims of home invasions sometimes say they "feel violated". That is also why an armed homeowner is likely get scared and to shoot a home-invader. It's rather wrong to punish people for it. As a British legislator said (paraphrasing from memory here) "It's ridicilous to expect reasonable behaviour in the face of a raised knife".
     
  9. agricola

    agricola Member

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    microbalrog,

    nice nonsense post. There was no "raised knife" in the Martin case; just a man who shot a boy and another man as they ran off from burgling his house. There was, as Trooper and the twelve members of the jury noted, no issue of self defence. Had there been, he would not have been found guilty.
     
  10. MicroBalrog

    MicroBalrog member

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    You didn't read my post, I see...
     
  11. agricola

    agricola Member

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    no, i read your post, the implications of it are clear when taken into the context of this thread.
     
  12. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    If a burglar has forcibly entered your home and is still in your home, the self defence laws are not the pertinent statutes where I live. You are not required to be in fear of your life to use lethal force in this situation...all that is legally required is that you believe the intruder will commit a felony therein. He does not have to be armed in any manner...in fact, he could have "pacifist" written in blue across his entire body. Also, the fact that he is facing away from you is also irrelevant.

    Our burglars go to great pains to ensure they are committing a cold burglary. It seems they've decided that hot burglaries have entirely too much potential for heat.

    And home invasions have become a thing of the past for some reason.
     
  13. Boats

    Boats member

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    No jury nullification argument allowed to made either. The malleability of English justice is apparent in the reduction of charge and sentence on appeal. Social engineering in wigs is all it amounts to.

    All housebreakers should wind up perforated and buried post haste. Occupied house breaking is the most elemental affront to the dignity of another person short of rape and murder. Yobs who feel they have the right to violate the inner sanctum of one's everyday life deserve, nay have asked for, the death sentence some of them recieve at the hands of homeowners. Whether coming or going, the lead enema protects society from those most harming it.

    I do hope for the sake of you all that Martin shot off Fearon's genitalia.
     
  14. MicroBalrog

    MicroBalrog member

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    When taking into account the above, one should realise why I mentioned the "raised knife".
     
  15. agricola

    agricola Member

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    look:

    Tony Martin always said he would kill the people he found breaking into his home, and he went and did it. Your raising of that issue is irrelevant, because this thread is about Martin and your comments are viewed in that context. I agree that under stress the idea of "what a reasonable person would do" must be viewed in light of that stress, but as mentioned above Martin was, beyond all reasonable doubt based on the facts of the case, NOT stressed nor scared when he shot Barras and Fearon.
     
  16. Intune

    Intune Member

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    A person breaks into his house uninvited and he's not "stressed nor scared?" He's cooler than 99.9% of us.
     
  17. MicroBalrog

    MicroBalrog member

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    Please tell me (I honestly do not know) what evidence was there beyond "victim" statements?
     
  18. trooper

    trooper Member

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    Guys,

    I wasn't talking about a homeowner shooting a burglar in the process of breaking into his house.

    Some people think that somebody committing a "hot" burglary should be expected to have the intention of bodily harming any occupants and therefore should be met with lethal force. While I haven't made up my mind on that one I consider this argument totally valid and really take it into consideration.

    However, somebody shooting a fleeing thief in the back without being threatened is an entirely different story. And apparently such was the case with Terry Martin.

    And again, supporting such positions is not doing the RKBA community a favour.


    Regards,

    Trooper
     
  19. bjengs

    bjengs Member

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    The RKBA community? Since when did this become a commune?

    There are those steeped in principle who believe that property rights are a natural extension of the rights to life and liberty. There are those who are steeped in pragmatism who figure it's not worth fighting for.

    But it almost feels like a Monty Python sketch. A burglar coming in, maybe announcing his presence ("Just here for the goods, guvnor, I won't 'arm a single wunnaya!"), and the homeowner sits on a barstool sipping a scotch and soda while the burglar goes about his business.
     
  20. The Plainsman

    The Plainsman Member

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    Agricola...

    Regardless of any other issues in this particular case, I think it's an absolute travesty that a perpetrator is subsidized by the government (taxpayer) in his effort to further punish the property owner by suing him and thereby force him to expend additional funds. If the government agrees to underwrite the property owner's defense costs, OK - but it doesn't appear that's the way it works.

    This is justice turned on her head. Absolutely the goofiest, most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. :confused:
     
  21. agricola

    agricola Member

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    microbalrog,

    the forensic case was that the evidence showed Martin had been in one of the side rooms on the ground floor when he fired into the back of Barras and into Fearon's leg, wheras his defence was that he had been coming down the stairs, and when one of the burglars had shined a torch in his face he had fired at it fearing assault (which would have left an entirely different set of evidence - spatter, the wounds of both burglars etc).

    The statement of Fearon was more supported by the evidence than Martins, in that (as I recall) he stated that they had seen Martin, seen that he had a long gun of some description and then started to run off.
     
  22. Glock Glockler

    Glock Glockler Member

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    However, somebody shooting a fleeing thief in the back without being threatened is an entirely different story

    How do you know if they're fleeing? Just because someone's back is to me doesn't mean that they don't constitute a threat, he could be going back to get his gun, who knows? The one circumstance where shooting them on your home would not be legitimate sould be when they surrender to you, other than that, sorry pal.
     
  23. MicroBalrog

    MicroBalrog member

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    agricola:

    The question is not whether Fearon was a danger. The question is, did Martin feel his life was in danger?

    Probably yes.
     
  24. trooper

    trooper Member

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    Shooting someone in the back who is running away from your property because you think he MIGHT get his gun and come back?

    Nope. That's way too far-fetched. That's equivalent to shooting someone on the spot because he/she is mad at you and tells you, "I'm gonna whack your butt, a***hole."


    Regards,

    Trooper
     
  25. trooper

    trooper Member

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    Wrong. I've decided for myself that property isn't worth KILLING for. I will fight for my property. And if my life is endangered during that fight I will resort to lethal force.

    But I will not shoot someone over a TV set.

    So there's this guy who makes his living by committing acts of fraud. And for some reason you fell victim to him. He has therefore deprived you of your property and, according to TallPine, of a certain period of your life which you needed to earn said property. Will you shoot him?


    Regards,

    Trooper
     
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