Posts Tagged ‘England’

UK Judge to burglars: Being shot is a ‘chance you take’

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Original Story Via:

A judge has told two burglars permanently injured when they were shot by a homeowner: “That is the chance you take.”

Judge Michael Pert QC jailed Joshua O’Gorman and Daniel Mansell for four years each after rejecting a plea that he take the shooting into account.

O’Gorman and Mansell, who have a string of convictions between them, were blasted with a legally-owned shotgun by Andy Ferrie as they attempted to ransack his isolated farm cottage in the early hours of September 2.

O’Gorman, who was shot in the face, and Mansell, who was hit in his right hand, had pleaded guilty to the break-in in Welby, near Melton Mowbray, at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing them at Leicester Crown Court, the judge said: “I make it plain that, in my judgment, being shot is not mitigation. If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally held shotgun, that is the chance you take. You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it.”

He was responding to a mitigation plea from Andrew Frymann, representing O’Gorman, who said being shot was for his client akin to a “near-death experience” for which he was not prepared. His injuries left him with blurred vision, severe pain and problems with his balance.

Replying to Mr Frymann’s suggestion that O’Gorman was traumatised, Judge Pert said the arrest of Mr and Mrs Ferrie on suspicion of grievous bodily harm could be considered just as disturbing. He said: “Some might argue that being arrested and locked up for 40 hours is a trauma.”

Mr Ferrie, 35, and his wife Tracey, 43, were held in custody for nearly two days after Mr Ferrie called police to tell them he fired his shotgun at the intruders. Their arrests prompted widespread criticism. The couple were later bailed and told they would not face criminal charges.

Mansell, 33, and O’Gorman, 27, both from Leicester but with no fixed addresses, appeared in the court dock each wearing a grey sweatshirt and showing physical evidence of the confrontation. A scar was clearly visible on the right side of O’Gorman’s face and Mansell had his arm in a sling.

Commenting after sentencing, a spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: “The decision made by the Crown Prosecution Service, after reviewing all the evidence, was to take no further action against the homeowners involved. We are unable to comment any further as we have an ongoing investigation with three men currently on police bail.”

Farm tenant arrested after burglars shot, was ‘plagued by break-ins’ (UK)

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Original Story Via:  The Telegraph


A farm tenant and his wife who were arrested after two suspected burglars were shot at their isolated home had been the victims of a number of robberies.

The man is believed to have grabbed a legally owned gun after they were disturbed by the break-in early yesterday.

He is understood to have fired at the intruders who then fled the isolated house at Melton Mowbray, Leics, before calling the police.

Minutes later, an ambulance was called to treat a man with gunshot injuries nearby. It is understood that call was made by one of the suspected burglars.

The arrested man’s mother said: “This is not the first time they have been broken into.

“They have been robbed three or four times. One of them was quite nasty.

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“They have not been injured but property has been stolen.”

Local farmers said the area has been increasingly targeted by car thieves.

One said: “We had three Land Rovers stolen. We had fitted one with a tracker and it was recovered in Birmingham.”

A second man was later treated for gunshot injuries after arriving at Leicester Royal Infirmary, 10 miles from the scene of the shooting. Neither of the men is said to be seriously injured.

Yesterday the businessman and his wife were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. Four men, understood to be the suspected burglars, were also arrested.

The case will reignite the debate over a householder’s right to defend his property, which began in the late 1990s after the farmer Tony Martin shot two burglars at his remote Norfolk home. In 1999, Martin fired at Brendan Fearon, 29, and Fred Barras, 16, after they broke into the house in Emneth Hungate.

Three shots were fired, Barras was hit in the back and despite escaping through a window died moments later. Martin was convicted of murder and jailed for life, which was reduced on appeal to manslaughter and five years’ jail.

In 2009, the millionaire businessman Munir Hussain fought back with a metal pole and a cricket bat against a knife-wielding burglar who tied up his family at their home in Buckinghamshire. Hussain was jailed for two and a half years, despite his attacker being spared prison.

Appeal judges reduced the sentence to a year’s jail, suspended.

The case prompted David Cameron to announce that home owners and shopkeepers would have the right to protect themselves against burglars and robbers.

Last year, Peter Flanagan, 59, who fatally stabbed a burglar armed with a machete at his home in Salford, Great Manchester, escaped prosecution after the Crown Prosecution Service ruled that he was acting in self defence.

Yesterday the Melton Mowbray cottage was sealed off by police. Welby Grange Farm is owned by John Hobill, 84, and his wife Evelyn, 76, and is the registered address for JT and RT Hobill, which lists itself as a farming business.

A woman who answered the phone said they were “not allowed” to talk about the incident. She said the cottage was privately rented and the incident was nothing to do with the family that owned the farm. She said the person living there was not a farmer.

A Leicestershire Police spokesman said: “A 35-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman were arrested in Melton on suspicion of GBH and four men, aged 27, 23, 31 and 33, were arrested at Leicester Royal Infirmary on suspicion of aggravated burglary.” All remain in custody.

Continuous drip-drip of distorted gun-related news reporting

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Derek Bernard

6th September 2012

During the afternoon of Wednesday, 5th September, a British family were attacked in their car while on holiday in France, near Chevaline. The 3 adults were shot to death, together with a cyclist, while 2 little girls in the car survived the attack.

Many of the news reports attempt to link the event to the strictness, or lack of it, of gun control in France.

For instance, Henry Samuel, Daily Telegraph, 5th September 2012, included the following:

“France has one of the highest levels of civilian gun ownership in Europe, with far more relaxed gun laws than the UK.

Handguns, semi-automatic weapons and pump-action shotguns are legal if held by active gun club members who must have a licence for them and undergo a medical check.”

As with virtually everything uttered by governments, police and the media on the subject of gun control, gun ownership and criminal violence, the purported linkage has no connection to reality. But this constant, almost subliminal, flow of distortion maintains and strengthens the fearful fantasy that guns, in and of themselves, are dangerous, nasty things that will turn ordinary, non-violent people into criminals and ordinary criminals into murderers.

This fantasy is what drives the European love of complex, expensive, slow and inconvenient gun control procedures, such as gun registration.

In 2007 the Harvard Journal on Law & Public Policy published an article by 2 of the world’s leading researchers, Professor Gary Mauser and lawyer Don Kates. It contained this interesting paragraph:

“One statistic stands out: There are 9 European nations which have less than 5,000 guns per 100,000 population and 7 that have more than 15,000 guns. The average murder rate of the 9 low-gun ownership nations is 3 times higher than the murder rate of the 7 high gun ownership nations. That is apparently because nations w/ high murder rates adopt stringent gun laws, but these don’t work, so high murder rates come to coincide w/ low gun ownership.”

I don’t expect it to be published, but I have sent the following letter to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph:

Dear Sir,

It was very disappointing to read your correspondent, Henry Samuel (5th/6th September), attempting to link the laxity or otherwise of French gun control laws with the murder of a family of British tourists.

French gun laws are not “relaxed”. Like the UK’s they are complex, expensive and highly anti-social in their effects. In addition to their negative effects on sport, pest control, hunting, manufacture and distribution, as well as police efficiency, they, just as in the UK, disarm honest victims.

Does Mr Samuel think that these killers, who clearly wanted to kill every witness to whatever they were up to, went to the “relaxed” French police and asked if they could have a gun or two as they had some murders to commit?

Yours faithfully,

Derek Bernard