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Posted: 9/23/2002 2:37:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2002 2:49:45 PM EDT by KBaker]
Where else? [url=www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-411040,00.html]Man who stabbed burglar guilty of manslaughter[/url]
A FATHER-OF-TWO who stabbed a “career criminal” to death with a bread knife after finding him burgling his family’s home was found guilty of manslaughter yesterday. Barry-Lee Hastings, 25, shook his head and fought back tears as an Old Bailey jury cleared him of murder but found him guilty of killing Roger Williams. Hastings, who was remanded in custody to be sentenced next month, faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The prosecution claimed that Hastings had overstepped the mark and “meted out his own form of punishment” when he stabbed Williams 12 times, mostly in the back. Hastings insisted that instinct took over. He believed that he was protecting his children, a boy of four and girl of two, and their mother. He later discovered the family was not at their home in Tottenham, North London.
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But THIS is the kicker!
“Anybody who enters your property should do so at their own risk and the person who owns the property should be allowed to defend it however he sees fit,” Mr Starr said. “Who can predict what effect fear will have on any one person?” The jury of six men and six women found Hastings guilty of manslaughter on a [red]10-2 majority verdict[/red] after 13 hours of deliberation.
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Not a [i]unanimous[/i] decision, a [i][u]10-2[/i][/u] decision. No wonder we broke away from England. BTW, Tony Martin is apparently getting out of jail after 2.5 years. His life conviction was reduced to 5 years and now he's getting out after 2.5. I disagree with what Mr. Martin did - hiding in ambush and then lying about it. I think 2.5 years is about right. But given his legal options at the time... In Mr. Hastings' case, I can see no reason for conviction [i]at all[/i]. Edited to add this link: [url=news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/story.jsp?story=332237]Man found guilty of killing 'career burglar' faces prison[/url]
Peter Kyte QC, for the prosecution, said he "overstepped the mark" and "meted out his own form of punishment". Three wounds were potentially fatal and one penetrated the heart. Mr Kyte added: "The law recognises a man is entitled to defend himself, his family and his property, only if his action does not go beyond the reasonable and the necessary. There is no doubt Roger Williams was a thoroughly bad hat in the eyes of the law. But as a human being he is just as entitled to the freedom to live as anyone else."
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Um, no Mr. Kyte. If he breaks into my home, his right to a "freedom to live" was just rendered null and void. Mine takes precedence. [i]I'm[/i] not the one violating [i]his[/i] space. What an idiot law.
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