A millionaire whose family was held hostage by a knife-wielding burglar and his two accomplices has been jailed for resisting the burglar, who was himself spared prison.
The man, a wealthy 53-year-old businessman, returned to his Buckinghamshire home from a trip to the mosque together with his wife, daughter and two sons to discover three men had broken into their home.
The masked intruders threatened to kill them if they did not submit, and then tied them up. One of the man’s sons managed to get loose, and ran to the nearby residence of his 35-year-old uncle, who came back with him to try to free the rest of their family.
The gang broke and ran, but one of their number, a 56-year-old career criminal, was knocked down in the back garden, where he was beaten severely by the man and his brother. He was subsequently hospitalised with a fractured skull and brain damage.
The father and his brother were subsequently arrested and charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm on the burglar.
The presiding judge sentenced the defendant to 30 months in prison, and gave his brother 39 months in light of the fact that he had faced lesser provocation, accusing the pair of “violent revenge,” and ignoring their defence that the beating had been “taken in the agony of the moment”:
“The attack which then occurred was totally unnecessary and amounted to a very violent revenge attack on a defenceless man.
It may be that some members of the public or media commentators will assert that he deserved what happened to him, and that you should not have been prosecuted and need not be punished.
The courts must make it clear that such conduct is criminal and unacceptable.”
The judge stressed that the rule of law might be seriously imperiled if vigilantes were not jailed whilst criminals walk free:
“If persons were permitted to take the law into their own hands and inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting the criminal justice system take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are hallmarks of a civilised society, would collapse.”
The injured criminal who broke into his home was chided for a “serious and wicked” attack, but was handed a non-custodial sentence in place of prison. His injuries may qualify him for a disability benefit.
UK law allows victims of violent crime to ‘use no more force than absolutely necessary’ to protect themselves, which in practice can often lead to those who resist and injure criminals facing more serious charges than their assailants…
Via the Daily Mail.