THE case of Andrew Woodhouse, the Abergavenny businessman charged after injuring a thief who entered his premises, is understandably one of those which really captures the public imagination.

The public reaction is almost universally in support of the not guilty verdict against him following the trial during which he was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm to a thief.

The jury found that Mr Woodhouse had acted in self defence when he left Kevin Green with two broken legs and a broken arm after the latter had stolen diesel from Mr Woodhouse’s yard.

There has been a lot of criticism from our readers that this case should not have been taken to court in the first place.

And Monmouth MP David Davies has also said as much.

We don’t think it is that simple.

We can fully understand the view that if thieves break in to your property while you are there, you should have the right to defend both it and yourself.

But, the scale of injuries caused to one of the two criminals involved in this case probably meant that it was inevitable that the case would go to court.

The fact that a case goes to court does not imply that people don’t have a right to defend themselves or their property.

But in this instance the decision to prosecute was probably justifiable.