Monday, December 14, 2009

UK: Crime Victim Jailed For Beating Attacker

Another travesty of justice as a career criminal with 50 previous convictions to his name receives no sentence for his crime, while the crime victim in the case is jailed for 30 months for using excessive force during the criminal's apprehension.

Another Tony Martin case. Another nail driven in the coffin of New Labour. You only have yourselves to blame, gentlemen. When you treat criminals with more sympathy than you do crime victims, something is seriously wrong.


Anonymous said...

The reason that the burglar could not be sentenced for his crime was that he could not be put on trial for it.

And the reason for that was that he has been left permanently brain damaged by the savage attack on him.

I'm all for the rights of homeowners to defend themselves if burgled/threatened/attacked, but unless we actually want to allow mob rule and lynchings then there has to be a limit of reasonableness to actions done in self-defence, even with generous allowances made for over-reaction done in fear, the heat of the moment, lack of experience in fighting, imbalance of abilities (e.g. a woman using a knife on an unarmed burglar because she could not defend herself with her fists) etc.

If the knife-wielding burglar had been smacked around the head with a cricket bat whilst in the house, even if he'd been killed then the law would have treated the homeowner with leniency.

Unfortunately for him, and all those who want to portray this as the law treating criminals with more sympathy than the victims, that is not what happened.

After the criminal had been chased off, i.e. after he was no longer a threat, the homeowner and others with no connection to the crime gave pursuit, caught the guy, overpowered him, and while he was on the ground and no threat to anybody, instead of holding him there while they waited for the police they proceeded to beat him so severely that they broke the cricket bat they were using and (ironically) left him so mentally impaired that he could not be tried for the offences he had committed.

That was not self-defence - it went way beyond what was reasonable - it was mob rule and vigilantism, and do we really want that in society?

I'm sure the guy who had had himself and his family threatened was incredibly angry, but we do not allow people to take the law into their own hands because they are unable to control their anger.

Bob said...

@Anonymous: The entire case would have been moot if the criminal, who as stated in the article had 50 previous convictions, had been in jail where he belonged. Had the UK criminal justice system done its job (the protection of the civilian population is the primary job of government, after all) then this situation would never have occurred. As for the sentence handed down to the victim, I think it was excessive given his lack of previous criminal record, his age, and his standing in the community.

Am I going to cry myself to sleep because a career criminal finally received the justice he so richly deserved? No.

As for vigilantism: when the civilian population of a country feels it necessary to take the law into their own hands, it should serve as a wake-up call to government that it is failing in its primary duty. The Labour government will probably fall for this among many other reasons. If Cameron and the Tories want to stay in power, they will address this crime problem.