T Nation

Reasonable Force? (UK)

Munir Hussain, 53, returned to his High Wycombe home to find three intruders who tied him and his family up.

He managed to escape and chased one of the offenders, hitting him with a cricket bat, Reading Crown Court heard.

Hussain’s solicitor said he planned to appeal against his 30-month sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent.

-intruders were said to be brandishing knives.

  • Intruders beaten to the point of brain damage.

Would you do the same?
What would the result be in the US?
What do you think about the UK law of reasonable force regardin burglary?

For anyone who is not familiar regarding the UK laws:

  • Anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves or others, or to carry out an arrest or to prevent crime. You are not expected to make fine judgements over the level of force you use in the heat of the moment. So long as you only do what you honestly and instinctively believe is necessary in the heat of the moment, that would be the strongest evidence of you acting lawfully and in selfdefence. This is still the case if you use something to hand as a weapon.

  • You are allowed to use reasonable force to recover your property and make a citizen’s arrest. You should consider your own safety and, for example, whether the police have been called. A rugby tackle or a single blow would probably be reasonable. Acting out of malice and revenge with the intent of inflicting punishment through injury or death would not.

The question is: after the intruders were no longer a threat (been disarmed, showed intent to leave), did the guy go after him?

The example I get all the time in karate training comes in Knife/Gun defense. If a man attacks me with a knife, I disarm him and then give him a slash with the knife in the heat of the moment then I go to jail to assault with a deadly weapon. Same with a gun, although the extra caveat is that, while I am attempting to disarm the man, if the gun goes off I am responsible for any person harmed by that bullet.

The part that strikes me is the “Intruder beaten to the point of brain damage” bit. Unless this guy is Dave Tate, one swing from a cricket bat isn’t going to do that. In fact, it would probably take 5-10 hits from a bat to cause brain damage. It would, however, only require 2-3 maybe to disable the intruder and defuse the situation. It would seem that he knocked the man unconscious and then AFTER THAT, he got a few hits in.

Ahh… so they broke into his house, were armed, tied up his family, and he is being convicted to what excessive use of force. That’s messed up. In the US he would have been a hero.

Editing before I get crapped on… ^^Their is sarcasm in there^^

[quote]samdan wrote:
The question is: after the intruders were no longer a threat (been disarmed, showed intent to leave), did the guy go after him?

The example I get all the time in karate training comes in Knife/Gun defense. If a man attacks me with a knife, I disarm him and then give him a slash with the knife in the heat of the moment then I go to jail to assault with a deadly weapon. Same with a gun, although the extra caveat is that, while I am attempting to disarm the man, if the gun goes off I am responsible for any person harmed by that bullet.

The part that strikes me is the “Intruder beaten to the point of brain damage” bit. Unless this guy is Dave Tate, one swing from a cricket bat isn’t going to do that. In fact, it would probably take 5-10 hits from a bat to cause brain damage. It would, however, only require 2-3 maybe to disable the intruder and defuse the situation. It would seem that he knocked the man unconscious and then AFTER THAT, he got a few hits in.[/quote]

Are you serious? You don’t think a single blow to the head with a BAT can cause brain damage? I’m not big by any means but I’m pretty confident if I landed a solid blow to the head with a bat my target would be dead or at the VERY LEAST brain damaged. Maybe I’m underestimating the structural integrity of the human skull and brain but I have a hard time believing it would take more than 1 or 2 decent hits.

I think the primary problem in the OP is that he chased the guy while he was running away, which indicates that the guy was no longer a threat if he was hauling ass. It’s like if a guy tries to rob me with a knife, I pull my gun out and he says fuck this and starts running, but I shoot him in the back anyway, even though he’s no longer a threat.

i think stuff like this is bs. In America the intruder would end up suing the man and winning. If someone breaks into YOUR home and ties up your family there is clearly malicious intent on their part and I think that even if the intruders die in no way should it come back to the man protecting his family.

The intruders in effect are putting themselves in harms way by entering someone elses home and attempting to harm them. In no way do i see a grown man protecting his family to be able to think “oh wow i cannot hurt this guy i may get sued” the reaction is to protect those you love, and thus you are for the time not in a stable state of mind.

Some laws really need to be reevaluated. Yeah lets make sure that robbers and rapist are kept safe while they are attempting this terrible crimes. Dumb as F*ck.

No, in the U.S. the bashed up robbers would not sue and collect a big verdict. You are simply buying into insurance company propaganda that ridiculous and unsupportable awards are routinely made in court. And don’t tell me about McDonalds coffee. Millions of claims go through the system and there are bound to be some anomalies.

Juries listen to the evidence, they must weigh fault in most jurisdictions, and are generally going to find that this bunghole is no innocent victim, it is his wrongdoing that set the whole course of action in place. I can goddam gaurantee you in South Carolina where I practice law (since 1988) this joker don’t get shit. Don’t forget, juries make awards, 12 south carolinians are not going to agree you should not be allowed to kill a muther fucker who breaks into your house and ties up your family, more less just beat the shit out of him.

As for going to jail, it’s called prosecutorial discretion, not every case gets prosecuted and most prosecutors I know would be buying this guy a beer and laughing at the idea of indicting him.

All of the above assumes the incident really went down the way the original poster relates.

Trust me, you americans don’t know how good you have it over there. This is just The UK taking a dive into protecting rapists and burglar again.

I believe one of the children escaped and got the guys brother. He and his brother chased the intruders/attackers down the street and caught one. They hit him over the head with a cricket bat so hard that the bat broke into 3 pieces leaving him with permanent brain injury.

The judge saw this as reasonable defense that turned into excessive force and that this was a revenge attack.

On another important note, naughty Tesco had to remove one of their christmas cards because it was upsetting.
The card in question shows a child with red hair sitting on the lap of Santa Claus under the banner: “Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones.”

[quote]-ironman- wrote:
Would you do the same?
[/quote]

I don’t know. There are a handful of instances where I could have been charged with assault, and at least one where it could have been aggravated. So yea, I probably would have done the same, but with the adrenaline dump and all who knows.

Probably the same. Once you disarm the guy and he’s running away, you really can’t chase him and beat him down. At that point, you become the aggressor.

It’s the same as if some guy jumps out of the bushes with a knife and demands your money. If you beat him down, good. If you take the knife and stab him during a scuffle, it’s Probably self defense. If he runs as soon as you get the knife, and you chase him down and stick him to death, you’re up for murder.

this all depends on local laws though. In Texas, you can shoot someone for dropping a book in the library. In Massachusetts, you have to run away screaming “don’t hurt me” and try to get at least 3/4 of the way to the state line before fighting back would be acceptable.

It is what it is. If someone comes into my house, I’m going to try to kill them. However, if they’re running away or surrendering, you can’t just execute them.

As long as there is a castle law, I think the law is reasonable as far as further action.

[quote]samdan wrote:
The question is: after the intruders were no longer a threat (been disarmed, showed intent to leave), did the guy go after him?

The example I get all the time in karate training comes in Knife/Gun defense. If a man attacks me with a knife, I disarm him and then give him a slash with the knife in the heat of the moment then I go to jail to assault with a deadly weapon. Same with a gun, although the extra caveat is that, while I am attempting to disarm the man, if the gun goes off I am responsible for any person harmed by that bullet.

The part that strikes me is the “Intruder beaten to the point of brain damage” bit. Unless this guy is Dave Tate, one swing from a cricket bat isn’t going to do that. In fact, it would probably take 5-10 hits from a bat to cause brain damage. It would, however, only require 2-3 maybe to disable the intruder and defuse the situation. It would seem that he knocked the man unconscious and then AFTER THAT, he got a few hits in.[/quote]

I will tell you that I fully believe I could kill someone with one blow from a bat. In fact, for that reason alone I wouldn’t bash someone in the head if I had the opportunity to think about what I was doing. I would aim for arm and shoulders and break the shit out of those.

But then again, you are putting my family at risk, I would probably be after blood.

I just hope to god I am never in a position where I would need to beat someone with a bat.

I would call him lots of nasty names

Sorry i meant to put the link up to give the full story:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/dec/14/jail-brothers-burglar-cricket-bat

Personally, i think if you walked into your own home to find masked robbers who then tie you up and threaten yours and your families lives (you think you are going to die) you would have to show GREAT self restraint NOT to harm them.

[quote]-ironman- wrote:
Sorry i meant to put the link up to give the full story:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/dec/14/jail-brothers-burglar-cricket-bat

Personally, i think if you walked into your own home to find masked robbers who then tie you up and threaten yours and your families lives (you think you are going to die) you would have to show GREAT self restraint NOT to harm them.[/quote]

Of course you’d do whatever it took to rescue your family. The difference is that the guy ran off and was then chased down and beaten unconscious. Not apprehended, not knocked down and tied up ready for the police, but whacked around the head with a solid bat.

Smack him in the face while he’s in your house with a knife - fine. Approach him on the street and break a cricket bat over his head - premeditated assault. I expect a cricket bat needs a fair bit more force to break it than a baseball bat, too.

[quote]-ironman- wrote:
Sorry i meant to put the link up to give the full story:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/dec/14/jail-brothers-burglar-cricket-bat

Personally, i think if you walked into your own home to find masked robbers who then tie you up and threaten yours and your families lives (you think you are going to die) you would have to show GREAT self restraint NOT to harm them.[/quote]

Well, if I somehow escaped and drew down on them- and they didn’t immediately drop the weapon and start weeping like children- and they were still brandishing said weapons at my loved ones- I’d probably smoke them.

I had a feeling there was more to the story. The fact that they chased the guys down the street and then hit him over the head makes it tough. Same with here in the U.S. There is a famous example of this from about 20 years ago where a home intruder was shot in the back while fleeing the front yard. I believe the homeowner was ultimately charged with homicide because the criminal was fleeing and was no longer deemed a threat. It’s a tough situation.

DB

This is the biggest problem I have with the whole story:

“The intruders fled when help arrived at the house in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, but the brothers chased and caught one, Walid Salem, a criminal with more than 50 previous convictions.”

50 convictions? It’s like this in the US, how the fuck do we not lock these people up and throw away the key?

Maybe I’ve just held light cricket bats, but the few I’ve held weren’t overly heavy, like a slightly smaller wood baseball bat, and you’d really have to get a full swing to generate much force. In a home, fighting someone, if they’re mobile there’s no way you’re going to get a full swing with a bat… There’s too much going on.

Decent Cricket bat is around 2 1/2 - 3 lbs in weight. They might do heavier, I seem to remember Beefy liked a heavy bat.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

I will tell you that I fully believe I could kill someone with one blow from a bat. In fact, for that reason alone I wouldn’t bash someone in the head if I had the opportunity to think about what I was doing. I would aim for arm and shoulders and break the shit out of those.
[/quote]

I second this. I’ve swung hard enough to break bats and hockey stick shafts, both of which are either stronger or more flexible than ribs, forearms, collarbones, and tibias. A blow to the temple or back of the head is fatal.

Below the waist keeps you out of jail, but in a home invasion all rules thrown out. A hard swing to the shin or knee will definitely fuck his world up really fast.

What do you think my neighbors would think if I went out and bought some pumpkins & watermelons and tried to smash them in my back yard with a cricket bat?

I’m curious now. Not that a pumpkin is an accurate representation or a skull, but fuck it, sounds like fun.