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David Sutton




Location: Bolton, UK
Joined: 06 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 10:39 am    Post subject: 'I fought off a burglar with a sword'...         Reply with quote

It's been quite a while since I posted on here, but thought this was an interesting little story I read today in the Guardian Newspaper....sword related of course!

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/...experience

Quote:
...I didnt know hed be armed, but thought he might be, so I dashed to the cupboard under the stairs there were a lot of garden tools in there that could have been handy. But, as it happens, I used to collect old British swords and I still had a 1796 British light cavalry sabre. Its a fearsome-looking thing, and I hoped that the sight of it would be enough...

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 493

PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, what sorta of screwed up laws does the UK have that this guy had to worry about the legal ramifications of attacking back when a criminal was trying to club him to death?
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David Sutton




Location: Bolton, UK
Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Likes: 15 pages
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Wow, what sorta of screwed up laws does the UK have that this guy had to worry about the legal ramifications attacking back when a criminal was trying to club him to death?


Not at all, you have every right to defend yourself if you believe it necessary, but the law basically states that any force used has to be proportionate. It doesn't afford an automatic legal right to use deadly force.

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/self_defence/

In this instance I think the chap was just a little bit squeamish about harming anybody. If he had seriously wounded the man or even killed him, he'd have a pretty watertight case; being attacked by an assailant with an improvised weapon and also having his young daughter in the house.

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
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Leo Todeschini
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Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 11:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote
Quote:
Wow, what sorta of screwed up laws does the UK have that this guy had to worry about the legal ramifications of attacking back when a criminal was trying to club him to death?


It does on the surface seem odd, but the basis is to ensure that excessive force is not used, so that we cannot here say "he hit me and i feared for my life so I cut his head off" or similar. He can fight back, but not to the ultimate degree without very good cause. The problem comes in that in a situation like that the victim has to assess the intentions of the perp or at least be seen to consider them.

In this situation the man was being attacked so he had the right to fight back, but for example using his sword to cut the guys head off would be seen as disproportionate. Who can say what the right and wrong of the policy is but it is the way we do things here and it works for us. We had around 30 gun murders last year and around 550 murders in total for 66 million people.

Tod

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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
Wow, what sorta of screwed up laws does the UK have that this guy had to worry about the legal ramifications of attacking back when a criminal was trying to club him to death?


I don't know, the law against katanas makes sense to me. Wink
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
Wow, what sorta of screwed up laws does the UK have that this guy had to worry about the legal ramifications of attacking back when a criminal was trying to club him to death?

How is this different to the US? Do you think that you can kill or injure an alleged intruder and not have to defend your actions in court? At the very least you have to prove that your victim was, in fact, an intruder. You also have to prove that you were in danger. You can't sit up at night and take pot shots at random people who come on to your property.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Brian K.
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here in Utah, you can legally shoot an intruder who is attempting to break into your home. You don't even have to wait for the intruder to fully make it inside your home.
Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 5:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian K. wrote:
Here in Utah, you can legally shoot an intruder who is attempting to break into your home. You don't even have to wait for the intruder to fully make it inside your home.


I suppose that might have something to do with the frontiersman spirit still found in the law of some states.


*This is not meant as an insult if anyone were to take it as such by the way.
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 493

PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 5:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Philip Dyer wrote:
Wow, what sorta of screwed up laws does the UK have that this guy had to worry about the legal ramifications of attacking back when a criminal was trying to club him to death?

How is this different to the US? Do you think that you can kill or injure an alleged intruder and not have to defend your actions in court? At the very least you have to prove that your victim was, in fact, an intruder. You also have to prove that you were in danger. You can't sit up at night and take pot shots at random people who come on to your property.

I was talking about the point where the guy was swinging at him with a improvised club and he was only defending himself because he was worried about the legal implications of attacking him. The burglar was clearly attacking him at that point. The idea that you have to respond to a threat to a clear threat to your life with the exact same level of force as the attacker is using is what I find confounding.


Last edited by Philip Dyer on Fri 12 Feb, 2016 8:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Robert Morgan




Location: Sunny SoCal
Joined: 10 Sep 2012

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 6:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here in California, the law also requires some form of proportionality. And, if the perp is retreating, you don't have the right to automatically kill him. Now, having said that I've yet to see a jury convict anyone here in Southern California that skirted those laws. We tend to have a, "may home is my castle," mentality and some dirtbag breaks in, most juries tend to view him as getting what he deserved. The local prosecutor will still often indict as his legal duty requires, but trust me, the jury will acquit.

Things may be different up in the Bay Area where peace, love and hippie still sadly rule, but not down south. You break in, you take your chances with an armed homeowner.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Details always matter in these things...and there are some details that do matter.

The story notes that after breaking in the bugler fled from the kitchen, out the door he had battered down, and into the garden area. It sounds like line of sight was broken at that point. The homeowner states that he pursued the intruder to make sure he had left the premises. This is significant. Chasing or even just following the intruder outside, even though still on property, changes the situation. Are you really able to say self defense and in fear of life at that point? Why follow the guy then? If the bad-guy was trying to de-escalate and get away, which this at least might imply, danger level goes way down. Perhaps even incident ends?

In addition, the homeowner notes that after he chased the intruder outside, he continued to work the intruder away from the house during the fight. Is he still the defender now? How far do you get to drive the intruder away from your property before you become the attacker? Ten feet? Twenty feet? Two miles?

The final confrontation still seems to have occurred outside the house...someplace in the yard...I'm fine with what the homeowner did but I would also have some concerns about the scenario I had placed myself in if I were the homeowner. Assuming I could actually think. Maybe the homeowner was right to be just a little bit concerned about over doing things?

Now all that said...

This sounds like a zombie attack to me and I see two problems with what happened. First, dull sword = poor zombie defense planning. Second, cut to the chest = not stopping a fully turned zombie.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 493

PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
Details always matter in these things...and there are some details that do matter.

The story notes that after breaking in the bugler fled from the kitchen, out the door he had battered down, and into the garden area. It sounds like line of sight was broken at that point. The homeowner states that he pursued the intruder to make sure he had left the premises. This is significant. Chasing or even just following the intruder outside, even though still on property, changes the situation. Are you really able to say self defense and in fear of life at that point? Why follow the guy then? If the bad-guy was trying to de-escalate and get away, which this at least might imply, danger level goes way down. Perhaps even incident ends?

In addition, the homeowner notes that after he chased the intruder outside, he continued to work the intruder away from the house during the fight. Is he still the defender now? How far do you get to drive the intruder away from your property before you become the attacker? Ten feet? Twenty feet? Two miles?

The final confrontation still seems to have occurred outside the house...someplace in the yard...I'm fine with what the homeowner did but I would also have some concerns about the scenario I had placed myself in if I were the homeowner. Assuming I could actually think. Maybe the homeowner was right to be just a little bit concerned about over doing things?

Now all that said...

This sounds like a zombie attack to me and I see two problems with what happened. First, dull sword = poor zombie defense planning. Second, cut to the chest = not stopping a fully turned zombie.

But the case is that he observing the attacker, what I got from reading the article is that he wanted to make sure that the burgalar wasn't running to just get a weapon and escalate than de escalate. He wasn't trying to hack the burglar while he was running away, which would make him the obvious attacker, the burglar actually turned himself back into being the offender when he ran and tried to club him. Also, like the article said, he couldn't just lock the door as the attacker to defend himself and his daughter, the robber had broke the door. He had to follow the robber to ascertain whether or not the robber was deescalating. Turns out that the robber wasn't. I don't think by itself, that part of the incident out of the broader context, you can say that when he trying to drive the robber away, that there is clear defender/ attacker.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip, while your perspective sounds reasonable, I'm just not so sure the interpretation of the facts would match from all points of view. Just my opinion. I certainly know nothing about the law where he is and little enough about the law where I am. As the story reads, I'm fine with what the guy did, but I think he had reason to be concerned with how his actions MIGHT be interpreted after the fact. In reality my opinion of what happened really does not matter. He had to make quick choices and live with the consequences. Not me.

Also, I'm not sure I can agree that he had to follow the intruder out of the house to ascertain intent. I honestly don't know where the line of self defense ends in this kind of scenario. Seems to me that the homeowner had that same uncertainty but had to deal with his choice in a real scenario. He probably did better than I would have done. He managed to keep everyone alive. That's damn impressive in itself.

I can think of several other options that do not involve walking into a potential ambush by a potentially armed opponent if you really believe he is going to potentially go get a weapon. A real zombie (especially one of those World War Z versions that were all stupid fast) would have grabbed him coming out the door and had fresh brain delight that night.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Fri 12 Feb, 2016 9:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kevin Hughes




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Philip Dyer wrote:
Wow, what sorta of screwed up laws does the UK have that this guy had to worry about the legal ramifications of attacking back when a criminal was trying to club him to death?

How is this different to the US? Do you think that you can kill or injure an alleged intruder and not have to defend your actions in court? At the very least you have to prove that your victim was, in fact, an intruder. You also have to prove that you were in danger. You can't sit up at night and take pot shots at random people who come on to your property.


The Sanctity of the home is very important in the USA. Typically there is no duty to retreat once an intruder breaks into your home. Proportionate response is not required. Deadly force can be used against an unarmed burglar. Further the state has the burden of proof, not the defense.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb, 2016 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kevin Hughes wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Philip Dyer wrote:
Wow, what sorta of screwed up laws does the UK have that this guy had to worry about the legal ramifications of attacking back when a criminal was trying to club him to death?

How is this different to the US? Do you think that you can kill or injure an alleged intruder and not have to defend your actions in court? At the very least you have to prove that your victim was, in fact, an intruder. You also have to prove that you were in danger. You can't sit up at night and take pot shots at random people who come on to your property.


The Sanctity of the home is very important in the USA. Typically there is no duty to retreat once an intruder breaks into your home. Proportionate response is not required. Deadly force can be used against an unarmed burglar. Further the state has the burden of proof, not the defense.


Does that hold true once the intruder leaves your house? Your yard? Your block? Your town?

There has to be a limit eventually.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2016 12:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian K. wrote:
Here in Utah, you can legally shoot an intruder who is attempting to break into your home. You don't even have to wait for the intruder to fully make it inside your home.

You still have to prove that it is an intruder. Try shooting the pizza delivery guy and see what happens.

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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2016 1:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
Philip, while your perspective sounds reasonable, I'm just not so sure the interpretation of the facts would match from all points of view. Just my opinion. I certainly know nothing about the law where he is and little enough about the law where I am. As the story reads, I'm fine with what the guy did, but I think he had reason to be concerned with how his actions MIGHT be interpreted after the fact. In reality my opinion of what happened really does not matter. He had to make quick choices and live with the consequences. Not me.

Also, I'm not sure I can agree that he had to follow the intruder out of the house to ascertain intent. I honestly don't know where the line of self defense ends in this kind of scenario. Seems to me that the homeowner had that same uncertainty but had to deal with his choice in a real scenario. He probably did better than I would have done. He managed to keep everyone alive. That's damn impressive in itself.

I can think of several other options that do not involve walking into a potential ambush by a potentially armed opponent if you really believe he is going to potentially go get a weapon. A real zombie (especially one of those World War Z versions that were all stupid fast) would have grabbed him coming out the door and had fresh brain delight that night.


I believe in England, the word we are looking for is curtilage (property surrounding building). As the intruder was repeatedly attacking, the occupant was defending himself within the curtilage of the domicile..


Looks like a slow news day for the publication posting a reminiscence as filler.

Here's one close to my remembrances and reminiscences Balmy May, Boston, 1970. A soldier on leave after a SEA tour. His brother lends him a pistol and then carrying said downtown Boston after hours. Near South Station and Chinatown, he is accosted/held up. Bringing out the pistol instead of a wallet, unloads 8 rounds of .45 acp in the burglar. While the judge was actually sympathetic, what could have been a lesser charge, the judge had to point out "why did you have to empty the magazine in him?" PTSD wasn't really much considered back then. Twenty years, he was out in fifteen.

The US states don't all share the same law/responsibilities. Property vs individual defense usually divided between misdemeanor and felony.

When in doubt, your local police commander and local district attorney's officve will have the facts for you.

Cheers

GC
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Brian K.
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2016 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Brian K. wrote:
Here in Utah, you can legally shoot an intruder who is attempting to break into your home. You don't even have to wait for the intruder to fully make it inside your home.

You still have to prove that it is an intruder. Try shooting the pizza delivery guy and see what happens.


One cannot just shoot anyone he thinks is an intruder, of course. There does need to be at the very least circumstances that conclude what is happening that will be obvious to the leo's, if but some actual evidence.

An example would be from actual case that just happened 2 or 3 years ago when two teenager's were up to no good and in the early hours just after midnight they were attempting to break into a home. They started with a doorbell to which the family woke to but did not answer the door. The kids proceeded to go around to the backyard and attempted to break through the back sliding door. By this time the father had grabbed his handgun and heard the noises from them at the sliding door. Not knowing the intentions of these two he proceeded to shoot through the door killing one immediately. The other was hit, panicked, and began to flee. He made it to the street, fell over and bled to death.

Case was dismissed in favor of the home owners. The father never even had to go to court, and in fact was shown justified shortly after the police showed up.

Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2016 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So in your state I can invite someone over to the house, shoot him dead, break a window, put the prybar in the victim's hand, and get off scott free.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Gordon Alexander




Location: Eagan, MN & Dubois, WY
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2016 1:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Glen A Cleeton"]
Joe Fults wrote:

When in doubt, your local police commander and local district attorney's office will have the facts for you.

Cheers

GC


Better have 'em on speed dial;-)
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