Quite an amazing story in Britain, where self-defense is generally ill thought of by the courts, and defending yourself against a violent criminal in your own home can be seen as reversing culpability entirely.
In a new civil suit by the family of burglar Denby Collins who was left a vegetable after bursting into December 2013, and being wrestled into a headlock by the homeowner, the courts seem to have sided, mirabile dictu, with the victim rather than the criminal, as usual.
Judges ruled that the “householder defence”, which relieves people of the responsibility of making fine judgments about proportionality in the heat of the moment, so long as it is necessary, was compatible with European human rights laws.
In a ruling handed down on Friday, they rejected a challenge brought by the family of a man who was left in a coma after allegedly intruding in a home in the early hours of the morning in December 2013.
Relatives of Denby Collins argued that the law, which was strengthened by the coalition government in 2013, was incompatible with the right to life guaranteed by the European convention on human rights.
While the judges stressed that their decision did not give people “carte blanche” to use any degree of force to protect themselves, they said that force was not necessarily unreasonable and unlawful “simply because it is disproportionate – unless it is grossly disproportionate”.
The family of Collins is disappointed that they haven’t been able to leverage his spectacular failure as a Wealth Redistribution Engineer into wealth redistribution for themselves:
Without the law in place, Collins’s family believe, “householder B” – who police investigators said restrained the alleged intruder in a headlock – would have been charged for unlawful wounding or another offence of violence.
…Collins’s family said they were “disappointed” and considering an appeal.
Yes, if you’re a family of criminals, you may find that disappointing.
Here in the States, suits like this have had mixed results in the civil courts, but most states’ criminal law allows the threat of deadly force to be met with deadly force.
While it seems that many sympathize with the plight of Denby Collins and his family, consider all the dozens, hundreds or even thousands more home invasions that were in his future, if he hadn’t been stopped for good.