Proportionate Force for Defending your Property

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Moosey, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. kylesesh

    kylesesh New Member

    In England its a very weird situation... you can't have a baseball bat / golf club / knife etc by your bed for the sole purpose of attacking a burglar in the minute chance that it would happen... Cause in the interview if you tell the officer, "oh I used a cricket bat that I keep for smacking burglars with" it won't go down well because you are owning a weapon for the sole purpose of assaulting a member of the public (stupid I know)

    But if you were to wake up to a burglar stumbling round shoving your dvd's, jewellery etc into his swag bag... and then proceeded to go into your wardrobe where you keep your cricket equipment for your weekly game of cricket, and take out a cricket bat to hit a six with said burglars head, then that should be fine as the cricket bat itself was not kept for the sole purpose of being used against an intruder.

    Just ensure you don't go overboard, and hit the intruder repeatedly and ends up with severe brain damage / death... A few broken ribs would be totally fine... a burglar who ends up needing to be fed through a straw for the rest of his life... not so much.
     
  2. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    It's not about how much damage you do, it is about intent and proportionality.

    So yes, you can damage someone to the extent that they are fed through a tube for the rest of their life, as long as your actions were proportionate to the threat.
     
  3. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    There was a case recently where a family was held hostage and tortured (I think for a safe combination or something like that) where the dad managed to get free and grab a cricket bat and batter the criminals.
    IIRC it went to court because the dad chased them out into the street and battered them there and went a bit OTT. Even then I think he avoided jail (not sure about that).
     
  4. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Actually he did go to jail but got the sentence reduced in appeal and so was released.
     
  5. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Doesn't it seem justifiable to batter a criminal in the home than off the property

    In other words, if the law is upheld in the home, then one should have "finished" them there. Why take it to the street or off property?

    Recently, in a city a family member resides, he told me a story of a home-owner whom shot someone on their property as he thought he was a burglar. But the home owner shot the person in the back and away on the front porch

    I think people have the right to protect themselves, but not the right to go over-board
     
  6. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    It must have been tough on him and his family, but at the end of the day I'd rather live in a society where these cases are decided in court, rather than having some kind of "castle doctrine" free-for-all.
     
  7. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Absolutely. I'm sure most people can understand the drive to beat up someone that has hurt and threatened your family but there does come a point where enough is enough.
    Reading the background on the case and the brother got a longer sentence because he was deemed to have less provocation than the dad. So the law even recognises that there can even be degrees of going "too far" even when the actions are the same.
     
  8. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Excessive Force seems to apply
     
  9. kylesesh

    kylesesh New Member

    I remember that case... and in all fairness, good job on the guy, when your family is being threatened with violence then the whole "reasonable force" rule should be chucked out the window... the children should not have been subjected to that amount of threatening behaviour and have to witness their mother and father get beaten... in my opinion the homeowner didn't do enough to the scumbag, he should've been beaten to death in the street then and there.

    And before I start getting the "he went to far" replies... what would you do if you were in that situation and were forced to see your partner and kids get beaten up in front of you... im sure all of us would see red mist and start murdering left and right in order to protect our family.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  10. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    No, there has to be a limit as to what constitutes reasonable force. Otherwise anyone commiting any sort of crime against another person would be fair game for torture, mutilation, you name it.

    The only question is about what reasonable force actually entails, and that has to be decided on a case by case basis. You can't do away with the concept altogether or else you're left with vigilante justice, lynch law, whatever you want to call it. (Anarchy in the UK?)
     
  11. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    As I had sated in a post, the beating should have been finished in the home.

    Further taking out to the streets is someone that is a raving lunatic without control
     
  12. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    What happens if the children of the guy you are battering see you battering him without knowing why you are doing it?
    They get to batter you too?
     
  13. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    As well as "social media"
     
  14. Tman

    Tman Valued Member


    In the heat of the moment its going to be difficult to judge what is the correct amount of force. Lets say you have kids, you're waken up at 3am by noise. You go downstairs and ther's someone standing there looking like Daredevil in black. You're probably not going to go through Her Majesty's law regarding the health and safety of intruders in your head. Your going to see a scary looking guy in your house in the middle of the night, and you have children upstairs.

    Smack them unconscious if possible. Worry about plod later, your kids/wife/mothers safety comes first.
     
  15. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    This is why a little knowledge is dangerous and can land you in jail, where you are of no use to your family.

    By understanding the legal ramifications I already know what I can and can't do. If and probably when I'm questioned by the police I can justify what I did.

    Sure in certain circumstances you can "smack them unconscious", but do you know what those circumstances are? Can you describe them to the police and possibly a judge and jury?
     
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  16. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Or invest in time, training and awareness so it is a response engaged in terms of proportionality vs a primal one - you won't do your family much good behind bars and all too often peole win teh battle and lose the war

    Now of course that absolutely could result in banjo'ing the intruder to the middle of next week, but equally shouting "REMOVE THINE CARCASS FROM MINE DOMICILE MISCREANT!!" may also achieve a removal of the threat - each is situation dependent

    It is always something of a puzzle that people will invest days, weeks, months and years in physical aspects of self defense but won't take just a few hours to keep their legal underpinning primed - Self Defense is not fighting
     
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  17. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Bloody Ninjered by Bulldog...extra homework for you m'lad!!!
     
    axelb and Simon like this.
  18. Tman

    Tman Valued Member


    Its a tough one. They could have a concealed weapon, they could have back up. You have seconds to make a decision. And I'd thoroughly agree that you're no good to your family if in jail. But then get the response wrong, and your family will be harmed. I'm not advocating excessive use of force, but I'm going to make the first strike if possible. Obviously if they have a knife I'm not going to attempt to strike them, because then I'd be severely injured.
     
  19. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Indeed they could have a concealed weapon and that forms part of your decision making and subsequent statement.

    Excessive use of force is wrong, but enough force to potentially take a life may be justified.

    Finally if they have a knife, then striking first may just save your life. Action after all beats reaction.

    Of course doing what is demanded of you may also save your life, especially if the demand is money or possessions.

    I don't want to undermine everything you've said, but self defence is such a large subject and it's important to make the distinction between what is often perceived and what is actually reality.
     
    axelb likes this.
  20. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    With regards to strike first if they have a knife; thats a big topic which I'm not qualified to answer. If you are a teacher and/or experienced practitioner, I'm all ears.

    I'd look for an opportunity to give a verbal warning, but I've been in a situation where if I hadn't have given a verbal warning and given the first strike, I would not have been injured. I've looked at a fair bit of Geoff Thompson's work since then.

    There was a case this year in the UK, where an elderly man killed an intruder, no charges were brought against him.
    Intruder killed in pensioner's home was wanted over another burglary
     

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