Beyond, totally, utterly Beyond!

How in God’s name can a 78 year old be dragged off by the pigs on a murder charge when defending himself and his home?

So some lowlife gets hoist on his own petard, in this case a lowly screwdriver, and snuffs it.  Jolly good, one less piece of lowlife, give the guy a medal who achieved it, certainly not a murder charge.  Ironically it was the pensioner himself who called the pigs, pity he didn’t just drag the corpse out into the gutter and leave him there!

One was under the impression this sort of thing was resolved subsequent to that farmer chap being jailed some time back and then released.  What changed?  Have people no longer the right to defend themselves?  Or was the corpse a different colour?

Reminds me of living in Memphis in the 70s.  Should you kill anyone within the confines of your home.  The police turned up, dragged off the corpse with a meat hook and uttered the immortal words.  “Terribly sorry you were inconvenienced maam.”  There were no charges to answer and was not expected to even attend a police station at your own convenience.  Quite right!

There were a couple of caveats added, should you shoot them on the doorstep, drag them over the threshold into the house before you called the police.   Likewise if you had shot them in the back make sure you rolled them over and put another round in their front. Not even the police could get away with shooting people running away!    Needless to say, home invasions were very very rare!  unlike in the UK where open season seems to have been declared on residents and denizens of London.

What the hell does the government think they are doing?  Seems to me they couldn’t organise the proverbial in a brewery.  No way I would live there these days with out serious armament!  People being shot in the streets, acid attacks, handbag snatches, home invasions begins to sound like Chicago at its worst. About bloody time all protection was removed from politicians and the Royal family, that would concentrate their minds to protecting their own citizens.

Author: christinaosborne

Landed on one side safely.

19 thoughts on “Beyond, totally, utterly Beyond!”

  1. A nice rant, Christina! Good to see you’re ready for the Spring season. Maybe the reason the man was arrested is to be found in the Guardian reporter’s comment: ”The Metropolitan police were unable to confirm whether the dead suspect had been stabbed with the screwdriver.” We shall see.

  2. What does it metter whether the burglar was stabbed with his own screwdriver or the bread knife? He was a criminal who broke into someone’s house. End of!

  3. Whose due process?
    Can’t see there is a charge to answer.
    One could always charge the corpse with something though. Reparations for previous robberies seemingly!

  4. All I can say is: it’s just not right for that pensioner to be hauled off and charged with murder just for daring to defend himself and his property against thugs who broke into his home.  Low-class thugs at that (imagine not being able to afford a proper knife and so being forced to substitute a screwdriver)!  (Haughty sniff!)  I’m afraid I haven’t seen fit to spend the time needed to delve into this case in depth and so don’t know whether the guy who was stabbed with his own screwdriver died in the street outside or in hospital.  If the latter, why not bring charges against the NHS?  And how can there be any doubt that the screwdriver belonged to the aforementioned thug?  I know that, if I’d been able to fend off an attack long enough to get to the garage and open one of my toolboxes, I’d at least have selected a wood chisel for the job.

    Barring other circumstances (such as a long-standing feud between the parties involved) that might reasonably point the finger of blame at the homeowner, such a travesty would be virtually unheard of in much of the USA.  Although there is no applicable Federal law and local jurisdictions vary widely in their approach to this issue, there are at least some places here where it is perfectly legal to use lethal force in defense of life and property.  The police would, of course, quite rightly be expected to investigate any incident in order to ascertain and verify the relevant facts but would be highly unlikely to detain the homeowner except where such special circumstances are found to apply and said homeowner is considered to present a flight risk.  In those two states of which I have most recent experience, TX and WA, such is most definitely the case

    I have, however, managed to remind myself of a sad case that was in the news shortly before I left Texas, in which a convenience store clerk shot and killed an armed robber.  That would seem to be a “no-brainer” except that Texas law restricts the legality of lethal self-defense to incidents occurring at night.  A prosecutor who no doubt wanted to get his numbers up checked with NOAA (the national Met Office) and found that the official time of sunset that day was not until all of some *three minutes* (as I recall) after the shooting.  Bad luck for the poor clerk.

    A happier case recently involved a home invasion in which the bad guys beat the homeowner sufficiently to force him to open his gun safe for them but neglected to kill him.  As soon as he could, while his gun safe was being emptied, he picked himself up, got another gun out of a kitchen drawer and saved the public the expense of detaining and trying one of the offenders.  Thus relieved of some part of their duty, at last report the police were vigorously applying themselves to locating and apprehending the second miscreant.

    See also a recent addition to the “Welcome to Harris County, Georgia” road sign.  The Sheriff has added a sub-sign that reads:  “Our citizens have concealed weapons.  If you kill someone, we might kill you back.  We have ONE jail and 356 cemeteries.  Enjoy your stay!”

    I suppose that, in the end, it comes down to doing what is just and right.  As those who know me will attest, I am not normally a violent person. If, however, my sense of justice and correctness happens to include dispatching a low-life who would kill me or mine without a second thought, then that’s his misfortune.

    By contrast, it is unlawful in the UK to possess any weapon more substantial than a plastic picnic spoon, much less to use it even in self-defense.  The police and the CPS can, of course, usually be relied upon to misconstrue and misapply the law.  While I’ve no wish to offend any British Charioteers, one of the best rationales I can muster for this disparity between British and American laws lies in the fact that Great Britain is a monarchy.  I hasten to add that I’m entirely well disposed towards the Royal Family and indeed consider them to have the nation’s best interests more at heart than does Parliament.  There looms, however, in the back of all monarchs’ minds the spectre of revolt.  Meseemeth that such thoughts were, way back 1917-ish, at the root of the King’s not offering the Czar (who was even a relative, for Pete’s sake) and his family sanctuary in the UK.

    Don’t ask the resident Head Gardener; she’ll say something about inspecting all lamp posts to confirm that they can bear the weight of a hung human body (*a la* Mussolini) in the event any Imperious Leader fails to grant plants equal rights with humans.

  5. Cog: It’s not so much monarchy vs. republic. In most of Europe, there is no absolute right to self defence. Self-defence is limited to what is absolutely necessary. For example, in Germany I could kick a mugger between the legs to get away but no more than that. It’s not much better in France, Italy or Ireland — republics all. In Japan, very much a constitutional monarchy, using deadly force for self-defence can be justified in many instances.

    The primary difference between European and US legal doctrines, I think, is rooted in the relative differences in social climates. Until fairly recently, crime rates in most of Europe were far, far lower than in the USA. Even now, you’re far safer in most of Europe. You can walk around Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki at night and not have much to worry about. Can you say the same for Memphis, Washington, DC, Houston, Chicago or Los Angeles? Even more “difficult” cities such as Paris, London, Birmingham, Rome, Berlin and Amsterdam are vastly safer than New Orleans, Miami, St Louis, Birmingham or El Paso. European laws are generally behind the times and they reflect a sense of safety and security that no longer quite exist. Laws in most of the US reflect an acceptance of a more violent reality.

  6. London has gone to hell under Khan. It reminds me of California in that their officials are more concerned about scoring petty political points and sticking it to politicians they don’t like than focusing on real, growing crime and social problems.

  7. Well, they backed off that one PDQ didn’t they?
    Too many of the ‘great and good” (h-hm) coming out wanting to know why.
    Good, need to declare open season on burglars all round in the UK.

  8. The reason for the original police action seems to be that it had not yet been established that there had been a ‘burglary’ but there had clearly been a killing, for which action had to be taken to prevent the suspect legging it. Or do we prefer to believe the fuzz are just useless?

  9. CT: It’s not really monarchy vs. republic at all anymore. How many Royals these days actually get to create laws? The constitutional representative bodies, however, seem to have caught the fear of revolt from the old-timey Keens and Quings and nowadays have the power to write bad laws thinking to protect themselves by proscribing all violence.

    In today’s Germany, what would it take to change the law in order to allow a more robust form of self-defense? Apart from the 5-10 years spent discussing, largely ignoring and chasing it around the corridors of the Bundestag, that is. In the end, you’d be lucky to get legislation governing the shoe size to be used for a kick between the legs.

    Lawmakers of that ilk clearly deserve the donation of a penny for the Guy – which, calculating inflation since 1605, would come to just over £250 in today’s wealth. I think most of us could squeeze that out of our budgets. Authoritarian types please note that I am not in any way advocating violence or revolution, merely seeking to underscore the importance of having a legislative body that is actually fit for purpose.

    We in the USA have revolution much closer to us than do many places in Europe. From the successful southwest Indian revolution against Spain to the great American Revolution against Britain to our Civil War, it is part of our history and the thought remains with us. Then there was our expansion into the West, where the law of the land was too often the sixgun. Make no mistake, this has been a rough and violent land. It takes time to outgrow such a start and, as a relatively young country, we are to some extent still working on it.

    Violent crime is neither universal nor static. New York City, for example, currently has a lower rate of violent crime than it’s had for many years. Any city that leads the ratings will soon be replaced by another. Even within a “bad” city, there are some places that are relatively safe and others that are decidedly not so. There are places in Houston and Los Angeles where I wouldn’t hesitate to walk at night but others I’d scrupulously avoid. If you want to know what’s really going on, have a look at these 2017 numbers:

    Based, however, on what I see almost daily in the British newspapers, there’s no way I could be persuaded to live in London. Motor scooters not only provide too much mobility for the bad guys, they also pollute.

    Even though the police and the legal system are generally of more use here than those in the UK, at least for the time being I’ll vote to preserve our right to meet deadly force with deadly force.

  10. Cog, you really shouldn’t use the Daily Mail as your guide to living in Britain. Compare like with like. Living within 30 mins by train to Marble Arch or Times Square. NY is safer? Really?

  11. Cog: Oh, don’t underplay revolution and its impacts on European history! Germany was bitterly divided for a century after the Revolution of 1848. To varying extent, much of Europe was. Don’t forget that the French Revolution shattered any sense of the ancien regime holding on by anything but popular sufferance — and not just in France! The USA had the benefit of lacking a settled, deeply established and stable civil society. On one hand, in Europe there is a greater willingness to look out for others than in the USA, hence the more developed social states. On the other hand, the USA has a greater respect for personal endeavour and acting on ones own interests and volitions. Most European monarchs had a sense of duty and being part of an established order. In the US, people were the rulers of their own lives. What made the American Revolution different from those of Europe was that the USA’s wasn’t a squalid failure which, at best, resulted in bread crumbs tossed to the masses, at worst, a violent, brutal regime that was even worse than what it replaced. The middle classes became the aristocracy, an aristocracy that could be reshaped by effort and ambition. There was none of this legitimacy bought by marriage as there was in Britain and Europe. (The children of wealthy industrialists and other business interests marrying the children of impoverished nobles whose names were their own great legacy) Most of what was workable was kept, the rest abandoned. Were their significant failures and flaws? Of course there were, only hindsight is clear. On balance, it worked for the USA. It took until the collapse of the old order following World War One for similar opportunities to be available in Europe. It took until the collapse of what remained after the Second for Europe to have its Québec-style “quiet revolutions”. Even then, Europe is still haunted by the ghosts of its past and the accumulated baggage of thousands of years of history. The petty point-scoring in US politics today are the sum total of a couple centuries and that can be tedious enough. Imagine what the petty point-scoring of thousands of years would be.

  12. Janus: London has gone to hell under Khan. It’s resembling NYC in the sense that parts of London remain perfectly safe, others not so much. The cuts in police budgets are not helping, either. The loss of village and now town police stations are having a major psychological impact. Seeing police buildings, cars and officers lends a great sense of reassurance and acts as a deterrent. Private security doesn’t do nearly as much because they don’t have the authority or clout that the police do. Britain, as with Europe in general, isn’t the dystopia that the Daily Fail or Bollocks Express insist it is, but there are a lot of issues that weren’t as severe even a couple years ago.

  13. The stop and search laws did have a purpose, as those ethnic communities which whined and complained about them are now noticing. Black on black crime mainly. They’ll have to think about it with both hands before blaming budget cuts or Khan.

  14. Sheona, apparently, plans are afoot for a quick re-introduction of stop and search to ensure use against weapons, poisons, drugs, acid, etc.

  15. Janus: Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t look at the Daily Mail all that often, mainly when for some unfathomable reason I want to read the latest NHS horror story. Among other things, I find the rightmost column too distracting (not ogling the females, although I’ve been known to indulge in that on occasion, but mostly trying to figure out who decided that these people are “celebrities”). As of yesterday, however, the words “knife crime” appeared multiple times in both the Telegraph and the Guardian.

    Closer to home, neither the Vancouver (BC) Sun nor the Seattle Times had any stories about violent crime, although the news on Seattle-based TV stations had the usual assortment of things about “possibly gang-related” shootings.

    Once upon a longago, I did in fact live within 30 rail minutes of Times Square and felt perfectly safe there – at least until the neighborhood started to change. But that’s the way of things, violent crime remaining static in neither neighborhoods nor entire cities. Sooner or later, the pendulum is bound to swing back the other way. In fact, the last time I was in NYC, I was surprised and pleased to see neighborhoods where I wouldn’t have dared go as of the time I left that city many years before that had again become quite respectable. There are, however, certain groups (I’ll let you guess who they are) that object to this process, denigrating it as “regentrification.”

    Never mind, it’s now just past noon here in the Pacific Northwestern USA and I’m feeling compelled to commit some “knife crime” of my own upon some imported extra-garlicky Polish sausage.

  16. I find it curious and interesting that all the kerfuffle over black on black knifing and killings in London completely blanks out all the other crime in the UK, except murders. Of course one realises that white on white is of no interest to the powers that be or the police come to that! Justice comes in the shape of a crime number down a telephone, aren’t we lucky?
    Take rural Wales for example. The police are now non existent except at midnight trying to nick anyone emerging from the few remaining pubs with a drink aboard. The rate of rural crime especially sheep and cattle rustling by predatory gangs from the West Midlands has become quite ridiculous. It is noticeable on my trips home how many field gateways no longer exist onto metalled roads. Their removal an attempt to stop lorries from stealing and loading whole fields of animals in the night. Most yards now have CCTV fitted and one can generally watch it all live in the kitchen, being the ubiquitous gathering spot in all Welsh farmhouses. Quad bikes and chain saws always were desired nickage but now they want the big John Deere to go with it! Petty pilfering was always been endemic but the scale of it these days is quite ridiculous. None of this stock can be sold in proper markets, no paperwork, ear tags etc It all disappears sold on into the underworld of ‘halal’ meat production, blessed by the Imam whilst their poor throats are hacked out, wonderful eh?
    No wonder most there keep loaded shotguns at the ready.

    Meanwhile whilst the London lot are only killing each other and not us at least it saves us the trouble and expense of having them put through the so called judicial system!

    One of the best jokes is calling an armed response unit in wild West Wales. Last time it happened when one villager lost it and started firing at everybody from under the bridge in the village. All great fun, everyone emptied out of the pubs and hung over the bridge generally taking the piss and getting shot at, (It was only bird shot). It took over FOUR hours for them to arrive by which time everybody had had their fun and retreated to the pubs for further refreshment. Strangely enough the shooter had gone home to bed as there was no-one left to shoot and nobody could be found to identify who had been doing the shooting. It was actually very funny and is still a great source of entertainment locally over two decades later. He actually was nicked consequently as he had borrowed the gun from a friend without permission, who was obliged to report it stolen as he had no idea who had done it! needless to say it was all written off by the police as a misunderstanding!

  17. Hi everybody.

    If any incident leads to a death, I do not believe that anybody could, or should, object to the need for a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding said death to establish possible criminal liability. Only fair.

    That investigation has, surely, to involve questioning all parties involved in an attempt to establish the facts? Always a wee bit difficult to interrogate the deceased unless you trust ouija boards or similar. So, you’re left with bystanders, innocent or otherwise, and the alleged perpetrator.

    Don’t see why anybody accused of killing somebody should not have the right to be be warned that anything they say in their defence might be mentioned later on. That is essentially all that arrest means if you take away the element of preventing possible flight.

    Charging is different, whether in England or Caledonia (stern and wild). It suggests that you may have a case to answer if the relevant prosecuting authority decides you do.

    This case never even got close to that as far as I can see. Nothing to do with outrage or outcries or anything else. Everything to do with due process and a sensible decision after due consideration.

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