View Poll Results: has self defence gone too far in this instance?

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  • The defendant was guilty but should not have been imprisoned.

    3 7.89%
  • Defendant should be found innocent

    31 81.58%
  • Defendant was guilty and prison was the right result

    3 7.89%
  • Other

    1 2.63%
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Thread: When does self-defence go too far?

  1. #1
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    When does self-defence go too far?

    Here's a story making local headlines in my region.
    Paramedics and police must have encountered a gruesome scene when they arrived at the home of former Carlisle bouncer Jason Bowman.

    It was the evening of November 16 last year and the 39-year-old was relaxing with some of his friends at his Welsh Road home in Harraby.

    They were in the living room drinking tea when there was a knock on the door.

    In a split second, the relaxed mood was shattered as a mob of about six people burst into the property, all armed.

    Bowman quickly realised that they were carrying an array of frightening weapons – knives, a wrench, a screwdriver, and a crowbar.

    --snip--

    Determined to stand his ground, Bowman grabbed an axe and – according to his account given in court – set about defending himself.

    He told a jury that he roared as he fought with the mob in his living room.

    He said: “I was acting in self-defence. I could not have done anything else. I was completely fighting for my life.

    “I was blindly swinging it and fending off the blows. With the adrenaline going I was thrashing about.”

    --snip--

    By the time the dust had settled and the injured had been treated, police concluded Bowman had gone too far and charged him with attempted murder.

    --snip--
    Their view was put to the jury by prosecutor Robert Wyn Jones, who said that everybody has the right to defend themselves in their home, using “reasonable force.”

    Even using the axe to defend himself could be deemed reasonable if he genuinely believed it was necessary to protect himself.

    But the case centred on what happened beyond that point – Bowman’s decision to continue attacking Hall after he ceased to be a threat. Mr Wyn Jones said the defendant went beyond reasonable self-defence by continuing the attack even after Hall was defenceless.

    The jury agreed.

    Though they did not convict Bowman of attempted murder, they did find him guilty of intentionally causing his victim grievous bodily harm.

    Jailing him for five years, Judge Paul Batty QC told the defendant: “There came a point, fairly early on,when you were no longer under attack but became the attacker yourself.”

    News & Star: Cumbria
    Personally, I think 6 guys going round to another man's house get what they deserve if they underestimate the victim's ability to defend himself and I also think the 5 year jail sentence served on Bowman was a joke.

  2. #2
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    Re: When does self-defence go too far?

    If the fight had gone the other way around the defendent would have been the dead one.

    This was a fight for life. It was totally premeditated by the perpetrators.
    When you are armed with a crowbar in a close contact fight the desired results is obvious.
    This was a fight for his life. This wasn't finding someone trying to break into your car.

    In such a fight for your own life and others in the house one cannot just halt the rush of adrenaline on a split second. Yes he may have keep hitting after the victim was no longer a threat. But the adrenaline must have been so strong his own arms continued to fight. It is like being in total balls to wall fight and then stop and expect your breathing to resume back to normal 15-20 breaths per min instantly.

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    Re: When does self-defence go too far?

    Whitehaven News | Carlisle axe man cleared of attempt murder

    Where were his buddies as witnesses in his favor? Anyway more details here.
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    Re: When does self-defence go too far?

    If someone crashes into your house, armed and looking dangerous, you should have every right to kill them before they kill you. But who has an axe next to their TV?
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    Re: When does self-defence go too far?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    If someone crashes into your house, armed and looking dangerous, you should have every right to kill them before they kill you. But who has an axe next to their TV?
    Apparently the judge didn't have an issue with that, so it's a moot point. It's a good thing he did.
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    Re: When does self-defence go too far?

    Thugs vs. thug. The all got what they deserved.

    I have a hard time relating to this case. I can't imagine thugs without guns, the great American equalizer. In the US, singular thug would be dead and plural thugs would become lesser in number and given a number for 30 years.
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  7. #7
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    Re: When does self-defence go too far?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    If someone crashes into your house, armed and looking dangerous, you should have every right to kill them before they kill you. But who has an axe next to their TV?
    In a way, this makes the local/federal English justice system look bad .
    The accusation was that Bowman had stolen money from one of the attacking mob.
    So why did not the "victim" go to the police and press charges??
    The vigilante route was dangerous, very dangerous, as it turns out.
    As "reasonable force" is not defined, and may be impossible to legally define, I'd say that the police were wrong in treating Bowman as a criminal.

  8. #8
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    Re: When does self-defence go too far?

    This is silly. People come into the man's house, he defends it, and he's punished for it? Bad form.
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  9. #9
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    Re: When does self-defence go too far?

    This is complete bull****, he shouldn't go to jail for defending himself.
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  10. #10
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    Re: When does self-defence go too far?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    But who has an axe next to their TV?
    True dat.

    Mine is right next to my grinder, which is placed at a more appropriate spot in the living room -- right next to me as I post at debatepolitics dot com.
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