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TheMoog

An Englishman's home is his castle.

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From the Beeb:

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has said a householder who knifes a burglar will not have committed a criminal offence under plans to clarify the law on self-defence in England.

 

He told the BBC people were entitled to use "whatever force necessary" to protect themselves and their homes.

 

David Cameron recently said the issue should be put "beyond doubt".

 

Mr Clarke has also said he is committed to axing indeterminate prison sentences despite opposition from many Tory MPs.

 

Mr Clarke has come under attack over proposed changes to sentencing policy but has denied making a series of U-turns on key elements amid pressure from Tory MPs and sections of the media.

 

He said indeterminate sentences - where prisoners can be held beyond their original release date if they still pose a danger to society - had been an "unmitigated disaster" since they had been introduced by Tony Blair

 

He suggested an alternative to them would be in place within two years.

 

Mr Clarke will defend his criminal justice agenda when proposed sentencing and legal aid changes are debated by MPs later - although no plans to change indeterminate sentences are currently included in planned legislation.

 

On people's rights to self-defence in their homes, Mr Clarke said there was "constant doubt" about the issue and the proposed legislation would make this "much clearer".

 

Under the terms of the 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, homeowners who use "reasonable force" to protect themselves against intruders should not be prosecuted, providing they use no more force than is absolutely necessary.

'Absolute right'

 

But the government is set to place people's right to defend their property, long present in common law, in statute law.

 

"It's quite obvious that people are entitled to use whatever force is necessary to protect themselves and their homes," Mr Clarke said.

Continue reading the main story

 

Asked about what this would mean in practice, he said: "If an old lady finds she's got an 18 year old burgling her house and she picks up a kitchen knife and sticks it in him she has not committed a criminal offence and we will make that clear."

 

He added: "We will make it quite clear you can hit the burglar with the poker if he's in the house and you have a perfect defence when you do so."

 

Mr Clarke said legal protection would not extend to anyone shooting a burglar in the back when they were fleeing or "getting their friends together to beat them up".

 

"We all know what we mean when we say a person has an absolute right to defend themselves and their home and reasonable force.

 

"Nobody should prosecute and nobody should ever convict anybody who takes those steps."

 

The BBC's Political Correspondent Ross Hawkins said it remained to be seen how judges would interpret any change in the law when cases came to court.

Legal aid

 

Mr Clarke also made clear his determination to repeal indeterminate public protection prison sentences.

 

While some people had to stay in prison for an unspecified amount of time, he said the six-year old policy was "filling up" prisons and it was "indefensible" that some prisoners did not know how long they would have to serve and when they might be considered for release.

 

Ministers dropped plans to offer suspects pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity a 50% reduction in their jail sentences following a public consultation but Mr Clarke suggested there would be no backtracking on this matter.

 

Although he would consider carefully any changes, he said more prisoners should get "fixed-length" sentences.

 

Tory MP Philip Davies has said indeterminate sentences - 6,000 of which have been handed down - have reduced crime and Mr Clarke's stance on the issue "shows beyond all doubt that re-offending is not his priority".

 

A No 10 spokesman said the government was looking at the system "with a view to replacing it".

 

MPs will also debate the government's plans to cut legal aid in England and Wales at the second reading of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

 

Under the plans, aimed at saving £300m from the £2.1bn legal aid bill, people will not be eligible for legal aid in a far broader range of civil cases than at present.

 

But they have come under fire from lawyers and campaign groups, who claim they will lead to more crime and penalise victims.

 

About bloody time imo, if some little erk breaks in to my house while I'm there I want the right to be able to make him wish he hadn't.

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Yep couldn't agree more!

 

If they are in my house then they will leave via and ambulance, its as simple as that.

 

Hopefully it'll be a deterant to people breaking in to people's houses now too.

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Wont this lead to burglers arming themselves too?

 

could be messy

 

I'd say 90% of them are anyway as a screwdriver is just like a knife.

 

Thats why I wouldn't even give one a chance to open his mouth if I caught him in the house, hit first, ask questions later is the way forward imo.

Edited by Jusoda Kid

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Wont this lead to burglers arming themselves too?

 

could be messy

 

I'd say 80% of them are anyway as screwdriver is just like a knife.

 

Thats why I wouldn't even give one a chance to open his mouth if I caught him in the house, hit first, ask questions later is the way forward imo.

 

Have you just been burgled and spat at by a bull dike?

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So let me get this straight...say I don't like someone and I want them out of my life for good, all I have to do is invite them to my home, stab them to death, then say they forced their way in and threatened to rob me. Hey presto, no prosecution?

 

Sounds like one step closer to vigilantism to me. Brilliant. :)

Edited by GeordieMessiah

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So let me get this straight...say I don't like someone and I want them out of my life for good, all I have to do is invite them to my home, stab them to death, then say they forced their way in and threatened to rob me. Hey presto, no prosecution?

 

Sounds like one step closer to vigilantism to me. Brilliant. :)

 

Aye that simple, what a spanner you are GM :rolleyes:

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So let me get this straight...say I don't like someone and I want them out of my life for good, all I have to do is invite them to my home, stab them to death, then say they forced their way in and threatened to rob me. Hey presto, no prosecution?

 

Sounds like one step closer to vigilantism to me. Brilliant. :)

 

Aye that simple, what a spanner you are GM :rolleyes:

 

Excellent rebuttal there JK. For a simpleton.

 

Want to try again? :rolleyes:

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So let me get this straight...say I don't like someone and I want them out of my life for good, all I have to do is invite them to my home, stab them to death, then say they forced their way in and threatened to rob me. Hey presto, no prosecution?

 

Sounds like one step closer to vigilantism to me. Brilliant. :)

And what's wrong with that?

 

2840125308_ec0eb6da16_o.jpg

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