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Posted: 5/12/2003 12:24:16 PM EDT
National Review      
May 12, 2003

Burglar-Protection Racket
Why you really don’t want someone to break into your house.
By Arnold Beichman


Let me tell it just as it happened in merrie England. It is nighttime August 22, 1999, in Norfolk. Way off in the boonies is a farm owned by a reputable citizen, named Tony Martin, 57. He hears prowlers moving around his farmhouse. He grabs his shotgun, surprises three burglars and fires. One burglar killed, one wounded, the third gets away. Nobody argues the facts.

Background: The British Home Office reports that between 1996 and 2000 at least 66 householders were killed by burglars. Recent statistics are not available. Most of the victims were elderly.

Result: Martin, the victim of an attempted burglary, is arrested and charged with premeditated murder. The presiding judge orders the jury to find Martin guilty of murder, no extenuating circumstances. British law does not permit lethal force in defense of one's person or property, says the judge. Martin is sentenced to life in prison. Case is appealed. Higher court reduces crime to manslaughter and the sentence to five years. Martin is sent to prison where he remains.

Previous history: The burglars have long records for violent crimes and all have served time. Burglar Fred Barras. 29 convictions, including assault, fraud and theft. Shot dead by Martin. On the burglar's body is found a bail notice having been accused of another theft. Burglar Fred Bearon, 33 convictions, including assaults, burglary, and theft. Burglar Darran Bark, 52 convictions, five for assault and 20 for theft. It is safe to call them career criminals.

Burglar Fearon, 32, whom Victim Martin wounded during the break-in, is suing the farmer for 50,000 pounds ($80,000). Fearon has received $12,000, according to the National Post, in legal aid to sue the imprisoned Martin. Plus he has also been granted the right to appear at Martin's parole hearing and offer his views on whether the farmer ought to be granted parole.

Martin is being denied parole because he is unrepentant and refuses to declare that in case of another burglary he wouldn't defend himself with a shotgun. As the National Post reported, government prosecutors told a London court last week that the Crown opposed Martin's release on parole because burglars are "members of the public [who] need protection" from homeowners like Martin "even whilst committing their offenses."

I'm not making any of this up. You can find it on the BBC website.

— Arnold Beichman, a Hoover Institution research fellow, is a columnist for the Washington Times.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 12:29:12 PM EDT

We know you're not making it up. It's FUCKING PATHETIC the way the English pamper their criminals.  

I think they're (mostly) victims waiting to be.  

Criminals have rights while committing crimes.  PUHLEEEZE...  

Link Posted: 5/12/2003 12:53:54 PM EDT
This is one of my reasons (the case is an old one) for NEVER travelling to the UK.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:04:33 PM EDT
There's a bit more to the story that is related here.  I followed the Tony Martin story very closely when it happened.  What actually occurred was that Mr. Martin (like his neighbors) had been burglarized several times (I believe six, in his case), so he decided to do something about it.  What he did was set up an ambush.  When the burglars broke in to his home, he shot them in the back from ambush.  On top of that, he used an unlicensed (whatever you feel about it, England does have a licensing provision) pump-action shotgun.  Then he lied to the responding police about what happened.  The site forensics proved his version false, and he later changed his story.

So, even here Mr. Martin would be doing time for manslaughter at least.

Having said all that, the only thing he did wrong, in my opinion, was not ensure that all the bad guys were dead, and he should have used a legally registered (spit) firearm to do it, because in the area where he lived there was essentially NO police presence.

Bear in mind that if he had held the perps at gunpoint until the cops showed up HE would have been arrested for [i]threatening[/i] them!

What a fucked-up country.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:06:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:09:23 PM EDT
I am just shocked that OUR criminals are not moving to England for greener pastures.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:15:04 PM EDT
I wouldn't shoot a burglar unless I was in fear for my life or the life of my family. We have the right to do that even here in California.
View Quote
In at least Texas and South Carolina you have the legal right to shoot a burglar whether or not he is threatening you or your family.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:23:03 PM EDT
[size=6]FUCK the UK[/size=6]
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:24:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 2:58:45 PM EDT
This is one of my reasons (the case is an old one) for NEVER travelling to the UK.
View Quote

AMEN BROTHER!! no way in hell will you catch me there, or anywhere in europe.

besides: a chip on my shoulder + alcohol + me in saaay, france = casualties & jail time.

i can barley make my self go to canada.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 3:09:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 3:34:28 PM EDT
Well, setting aside the fact that I'm not in the UK and don't have to deal with such nonsense, the only reason I can think of that I wouldn't really want somebody to break into my home is that I wouldn't enjoy cleaning the mess off my wall, floor, and furniture.

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