The much publicised case involving Harry Vincent, the pensioner who killed an intruder who was attempting to burgle his property, once again highlights the level of force which a victim is allowed to exercise when confronted by an intruder at home.
The Recognised Case Law Of Self Defence | Kangs Criminal Law Specialists
The general principles of the law of self-defence are found in the case of Palmer v R (1971) AC 814 which states:
- It is both good law, and good sense that a man who is attacked may defend himself. It is both good law and good sense that he may do, but only do what is reasonably
- A person may use such force as is reasonable in all the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders, or suspected offenders, or of persons unlawfully at large.
In assessing the reasonableness of the force used two pertinent questions to be asked are:
- Was the use of force necessary in all the circumstances?
- Was the force used reasonable in all the circumstances?
It is also well established that this test is based upon the facts as the accused honestly believed them to be at the time.
Thereafter, the jury must ask themselves, on the basis of the facts as the accused believed them to be, whether a reasonable person would regard the force used as reasonable or excessive.
Statutory Changes In The Law | Kangs Crime Advisory Team
The law was changed in relation to homeowners as the result of the Crime and Courts Act 2013.
The new law is concerned to establish that the force employed was not ‘disproportionate or grossly disproportionate’.
When a Court is asked to decide whether a householder has used disproportionate or grossly disproportionate force, the individual facts of the case have to be considered, including the personal circumstances of the house holder such as:
- Perceived or real threat proposed.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National General Crime Team
At Kangs Solicitors we possess the skills and expertise required to examine all aspects of your case from the point of arrest through to trial.
Our team offers years of experience to ensure that all steps are taken to critically analyse and evaluate the evidence against you, and put forward the strongest defence possible.
You should contact Kangs Solicitors immediately at the point of arrest. We are here to help, and any of the following would be pleased to assist you.