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Fears of 'licence to kill' as Tories bid to change self-defence law

The Times, 25 January 2010
Publié le : 25 janvier 2010
 Frances Gibb 

"A new law to give greater protection to householders is unnecessary and could be a licence to kill, a leading criminal barrister has warned.

"Paul Mendelle, QC, chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, says that a change to allow disproportionate force would encourage vigilantism.

"The law should always encourage people to be reasonable, not unreasonable; to be proportionate, not disproportionate, he said, adding that the present law worked perfectly well and was well understood by juries.

"If, as the Conservatives propose, the law is changed to allow disproportionate force, householders who kill burglars could be acquitted. The issue has been given recent impetus by Munir Hussain, who was originally jailed for beating an intruder, and Myleene Klass, the TV presenter warned after waving a knife at people staring through a window at her home."

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Mise à jour le 25 janvier 2010
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