ARGUS COMMENT: Have-a-go prosecution inevitable

South Wales Argus: ARGUS COMMENT: Have-a-go prosecution inevitable ARGUS COMMENT: Have-a-go prosecution inevitable

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.

Comments (5)

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3:52pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Ollie254 says...

Justice has to be seen to be done and carried out in the name of the people. The problem with the current system is that to many judgements fly in the face of what the people would recognise as justice . ( e.g. Letting people go free who would do us hrm etc). As the vast majority of people believe that this gentleman should not have been prosecuted this belief must be correct. The law cannot be some intellectual exercise carried out on some upper level of understanding and not recognised as fair and just by the people or it ceases to have relevance. That is when they will truly take matters into their own hands .
Justice has to be seen to be done and carried out in the name of the people. The problem with the current system is that to many judgements fly in the face of what the people would recognise as justice . ( e.g. Letting people go free who would do us hrm etc). As the vast majority of people believe that this gentleman should not have been prosecuted this belief must be correct. The law cannot be some intellectual exercise carried out on some upper level of understanding and not recognised as fair and just by the people or it ceases to have relevance. That is when they will truly take matters into their own hands . Ollie254

4:04pm Fri 24 Jan 14

On the inside says...

Ollie254 wrote:
Justice has to be seen to be done and carried out in the name of the people. The problem with the current system is that to many judgements fly in the face of what the people would recognise as justice . ( e.g. Letting people go free who would do us hrm etc). As the vast majority of people believe that this gentleman should not have been prosecuted this belief must be correct. The law cannot be some intellectual exercise carried out on some upper level of understanding and not recognised as fair and just by the people or it ceases to have relevance. That is when they will truly take matters into their own hands .
If the law starts to be based on what people believe we are all screwed. There was clearly a case to answer and he answered it. David Davies is a part time police officer so I am amazed he got this so wrong.,

Oh, hang on, having thought about it I'm not.
[quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: Justice has to be seen to be done and carried out in the name of the people. The problem with the current system is that to many judgements fly in the face of what the people would recognise as justice . ( e.g. Letting people go free who would do us hrm etc). As the vast majority of people believe that this gentleman should not have been prosecuted this belief must be correct. The law cannot be some intellectual exercise carried out on some upper level of understanding and not recognised as fair and just by the people or it ceases to have relevance. That is when they will truly take matters into their own hands .[/p][/quote]If the law starts to be based on what people believe we are all screwed. There was clearly a case to answer and he answered it. David Davies is a part time police officer so I am amazed he got this so wrong., Oh, hang on, having thought about it I'm not. On the inside

4:11pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Ollie254 says...

On the inside wrote:
Ollie254 wrote:
Justice has to be seen to be done and carried out in the name of the people. The problem with the current system is that to many judgements fly in the face of what the people would recognise as justice . ( e.g. Letting people go free who would do us hrm etc). As the vast majority of people believe that this gentleman should not have been prosecuted this belief must be correct. The law cannot be some intellectual exercise carried out on some upper level of understanding and not recognised as fair and just by the people or it ceases to have relevance. That is when they will truly take matters into their own hands .
If the law starts to be based on what people believe we are all screwed. There was clearly a case to answer and he answered it. David Davies is a part time police officer so I am amazed he got this so wrong.,

Oh, hang on, having thought about it I'm not.
That's why people believe the law is an ****.
[quote][p][bold]On the inside[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: Justice has to be seen to be done and carried out in the name of the people. The problem with the current system is that to many judgements fly in the face of what the people would recognise as justice . ( e.g. Letting people go free who would do us hrm etc). As the vast majority of people believe that this gentleman should not have been prosecuted this belief must be correct. The law cannot be some intellectual exercise carried out on some upper level of understanding and not recognised as fair and just by the people or it ceases to have relevance. That is when they will truly take matters into their own hands .[/p][/quote]If the law starts to be based on what people believe we are all screwed. There was clearly a case to answer and he answered it. David Davies is a part time police officer so I am amazed he got this so wrong., Oh, hang on, having thought about it I'm not.[/p][/quote]That's why people believe the law is an ****. Ollie254

4:20pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Llanmartinangel says...

Ollie254 wrote:
Justice has to be seen to be done and carried out in the name of the people. The problem with the current system is that to many judgements fly in the face of what the people would recognise as justice . ( e.g. Letting people go free who would do us hrm etc). As the vast majority of people believe that this gentleman should not have been prosecuted this belief must be correct. The law cannot be some intellectual exercise carried out on some upper level of understanding and not recognised as fair and just by the people or it ceases to have relevance. That is when they will truly take matters into their own hands .
Good post.
[quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: Justice has to be seen to be done and carried out in the name of the people. The problem with the current system is that to many judgements fly in the face of what the people would recognise as justice . ( e.g. Letting people go free who would do us hrm etc). As the vast majority of people believe that this gentleman should not have been prosecuted this belief must be correct. The law cannot be some intellectual exercise carried out on some upper level of understanding and not recognised as fair and just by the people or it ceases to have relevance. That is when they will truly take matters into their own hands .[/p][/quote]Good post. Llanmartinangel

6:56pm Fri 24 Jan 14

AbbyDabs says...

When I saw this news item my feeling was to feel very sorry for the stress this man and his family has been through and it would been extremely unfair if he had been this man had been found guilty. However I do think you make a good point and it was for the court to decide whether the response was reasonable. In this case the man was in an at risk situation where he was defending his property and himself and in the heat of the moment it seems he did what he thought was necessary. It would have been unreasonable to say that he used unreasonable force. In that situation it would have been difficult for him to judge to the standard required by law. Ollie242 makes a fair point too about laws being what the majority want but you cannot legislate for every occasion. If people are allowed to use any force to defend their property what would the majority think if a wealthy land owner put two kids in hospital because they were stealing apples? The same law would apply.
When I saw this news item my feeling was to feel very sorry for the stress this man and his family has been through and it would been extremely unfair if he had been this man had been found guilty. However I do think you make a good point and it was for the court to decide whether the response was reasonable. In this case the man was in an at risk situation where he was defending his property and himself and in the heat of the moment it seems he did what he thought was necessary. It would have been unreasonable to say that he used unreasonable force. In that situation it would have been difficult for him to judge to the standard required by law. Ollie242 makes a fair point too about laws being what the majority want but you cannot legislate for every occasion. If people are allowed to use any force to defend their property what would the majority think if a wealthy land owner put two kids in hospital because they were stealing apples? The same law would apply. AbbyDabs

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