UK High Court Homeowner Intruder Ruling

Sir Brian Leveson

Sir Brian Leveson

The BU household is known for keeping an eye on interesting events was they occur in the world of jurisprudence. A recent High Court decision in the UK has given householders the green light to use ‘disproportionate’ force against home breakers to protect their families. Sir Brian Leveson sitting with Mr Justice Cranston in a landmark ruling said allowing people to use ‘disproportionate’ levels of violence to protect themselves and their families from housebreakers did not breach human rights laws.

Read more: Judge says homeowners CAN beat up burglars because new ‘householder defence’ does not break human rights laws

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22 Comments on “UK High Court Homeowner Intruder Ruling”

  1. Shaft January 16, 2016 at 11:57 AM #

    This has nothing to do with Barbados..! …and people are still saying Barbados is not linked to the UK..!


  2. Colonel Buggy January 16, 2016 at 3:50 PM #

    And the same British Government has given its soldiers , a 007 License on the battlefield, now it is charging and jailing these same soldiers for Battlefield acts.


  3. Rod Brathwaite January 16, 2016 at 4:17 PM #

    Anyone who enters my house to thief, break up or otherwise harm my family will get a dose of 9mm mosquitos coming their way. A “landmark” ruling in the UK is a right in TX.


  4. Sargeant January 16, 2016 at 4:43 PM #

    I thought that it was always a right under English Common Law as “ a man’s home is his castle” to be able to use force to protect your habitation and is referred to in the US as “Castle doctrine”. The homeowners wouldn’t have been charged in the US and even if they were, a smart attorney would request trial by jury and jury nullification would ensure a “not guilty” verdict.


  5. Gabriel January 16, 2016 at 4:50 PM #

    In the old days of westerns,one remembers the statement ‘dead man tell no tales’.So take careful aim and spray them thar mosquitoes.
    The fact that Barbados and the UK are members of the Commonwealth,our courts will accept an advocate’s plea based on UK law.
    Since the PM of Barbados passed into law his authority to appoint Judges,one would be unwise to assume that Barbados’ judges are the Queens’ judges,ruling on behalf of the Crown so to speak.Nowadays the man in the street would say Barbados judges when they rule do so on behalf of a particular class.The irony is that these judges accept the evidence of the Crown,that is the officers of the ‘Royal’ Barbados Police,in criminal matters.


  6. Well Well & Consequences January 16, 2016 at 5:59 PM #

    As far as I know, some States like New Jersey do not have self defense laws, unless it’s been changed since 2004, one still have to be careful killing or maiming an intruder, ya can get sued.


  7. Colonel Buggy January 16, 2016 at 10:19 PM #

    One of the things that “English” Law would look at regarding defending oneself against an intruder, is the ‘use of excessive force’. And in the not so far off days when we used to protect military establishments armed with pick axe handles, this ‘ use of excessive force” thing was thrust upon us.


  8. Simple Simon January 16, 2016 at 10:32 PM #

    Dear David:

    There is no such thing as disproportionate force when you catch a burglar INSIDE of your house.

    I am surprised that anybody had to ask the court what to do when a burglar s found INSIDE of your house.

    Common sense say “do ‘e whatever ya feel like”


  9. Colonel Buggy January 16, 2016 at 11:26 PM #

    Murder trial[edit]

    English law permits one person to kill another in self-defence only if the person defending him or herself uses no more than “reasonable force”; it is the responsibility of the jury to determine whether or not an unreasonable amount of force was used.[13] The jury at the trial were told that they had the option of returning a verdict of manslaughter rather than murder, if they thought that Martin “did not intend to kill or cause serious bodily harm”.[14] However, the jurors found Martin guilty of murder by a 10 to 2 majority.[15]

    He was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommended minimum term to serve of 9 years, reduced to 8 years by the Lord Chief Justice.


  10. Shaft January 17, 2016 at 3:50 AM #

    If you kill someone in the UK, you’ll be tried and put in prison..! The sentence could be long or short, but you’ll be put away!


  11. Jeff Cumberbatch January 17, 2016 at 7:35 AM #

    @Simple Simon at 10:32pm, I am afraid that you are wrong…Google Revill v Newberry 1996. Of course, both decisions are based on legislation that does not exist in Barbados, but that in Revill v Newberry was merely a re-enactment of the common law. The statute here was designed to exonerate the house owner from liability. We may need such legislation.


  12. ac January 17, 2016 at 7:46 AM #

    Speaking of common sense .Recently a father heard a noise in his basement got up and without first investigating shot and killed his son who he believed might have been a burglar, These laws are not based on ” common sense” but a belief that a persons property/possessions are worth more of value than a Human life


  13. Amused January 17, 2016 at 7:47 AM #

    @David. I think it is a good idea to have posted this information. However, most of those commenting would appear to have missed the point of the report. We in Barbados follow English law. Indeed, our Constitution confirms the laws that existed prior to Independence, unless specifically changed by our legislature. One of those laws is that only “reasonable/necessary” force may be used in defence, as Colonel Buggy has correctly pointed out. If the force used is excessive, then the homeowner can be charged with a criminal offence and worse those of the “brethren” whose custom/bent it is to chase ambulances (which is why I parenthesize the word “brethren” for lack of a better word) would be able to persuade the JAs to file civil charges seeking damages/money from the homeowner (and possibly large fees for the ambulance chasers). This is a very important decision that, in similar circumstances, will likely be adopted into law and precedent in Barbados and most common law countries.

    Therefore, your message is simply this: Homeowners can use a greater degree of force in protection of their property and loved ones than was previously available to them to repel invaders – this is very good. US law does not apply in Barbados and to think anyone can follow it and not then be victimized themselves by either criminal prosecution or civil actions, is deluded. So, a discussion of what happens in the States and the suggestion that the same applies in Barbados is highly irresponsible and, if some reader actually believes it, dangerous and life changing and not in a good way. So the commenters can ignore your warning at their own potential peril.

    Many years ago when I was a young man, a friend of mine recounted visiting friends in Kingston (Jamaica). An unarmed intruder broke into the house and the homeowner immediately shot and killed him – and placed a knife in the corpse’s hands and called the Police. So, the homeowner was then able to claim that he had reacted in defence of and fear for his life and that of his family and guests.


  14. ac January 17, 2016 at 8:03 AM #

    Those laws have many built in problems and in the long run are cost deficient to govt, the premise upon which these laws are founded have no place in civilized society There should be other civilized ways for the homeowner to protect their property other than through violence escapades The numerous innocent lives that have paid a heavy cost on account of these criminally enacted laws are more important than the value of a property Band aid laws have no place in a society where justice is supposed to be influence by peaceful solutions ,
    The after the fact solutions attached to those laws does not prevent the process of violence when done because of a poor judgement call by the homeowner


  15. David January 17, 2016 at 8:17 AM #


    And further the law does not negate the need for the homeowner to identify the perpetrator as a JA this morning appears to be building a ‘case’ around.


  16. ac January 17, 2016 at 8:41 AM #

    David why do you have to be so unmannerly and uncivilized so early this Sunday morning? Were you raised in a household where hostility was a normalcy? Some of the contents of your comments reeks with undisciplined character dispensed with bombastic attitudes which does not bodes well as one who professes self as intelligent . JA


  17. lawson January 17, 2016 at 9:41 AM #

    Amused he was shot for stealing their cutlery. But I can relate a similar story in florida when one of the hurricanes (I think Andrew ) was coming and people had evacuated there homes.someone broke in to a house thinking everyone was gone and was shot dead. The home owner called the police and thought he was in big trouble. They said we will pick him up in the morning, they came took the body and that was the last he ever heard about it.


  18. Jeff Cumberbatch January 17, 2016 at 10:29 AM #

    Amused, if you read the report carefully, you will note that the decision was based ob the provisons of an English Act, the Crime and Courts Act 2013, section 43, that has not been re-enacted in Barbados. Thus, unless it was a faithful reproduction of the common law, it has no application here.


  19. Amused January 17, 2016 at 4:10 PM #

    @Jeff. We’ll see.


  20. Jeff Cumberbatch January 17, 2016 at 4:17 PM #

    See what, sir? The case is not applicable since it is based on a recent English statute. This is elementary. England abolished criminal libel in 2007, are you saying it has also been abolished here?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Simple Simon January 17, 2016 at 7:13 PM #

    Oh boy!!! Since the learned lawyers are arguing, and since I don’t want to spend my final years “up the road” it is a good thing that I only slapped my friendly neighbourhood burglar with my Collins and invited him to leave and not to come back. He has not…yet.



  22. ac January 18, 2016 at 6:31 AM #

    Listen to what David Camereon say was reason enough for this law to be applied using his experience as an example

    He told Sky News: “I’ve been burgled a couple of times when I lived in London, in North Kensington. There was one occasion when I left the keys in my car and they loaded up my Skoda and drove off.


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