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Tories want new test for self-defence

21 December 2009

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling has promised that the Tories will review the law on self-defence, should they win the election.

Grayling said today that householders should only be prosecuted if the force used against intruders was “grossly disproportionate”.

His statement on Radio Four’s Today programme this morning follows the cases of Munir and Tokeer Hussain, who were jailed for GBH with intent at Reading Crown Court last week after carrying out what Judge Reddihough described as a “dreadful, violent attack” on an intruder.

The man had broken into Munir Hussain’s home, and tied him up with his wife and sons. One of his sons managed to escape and alert Hussain’s brother Tokeer, who lived a few doors away.

Munir and Tokeer chased one of the intruders down the street, caught up with him and then beat him with a cricket bat, a pole and a hockey stick so hard that it fractured the man’s skull and gave him brain damage.

Munir was given a 30-month sentence for GBH with intent, while his brother was given 39 months.

Judge Reddihough warned that if people were allowed to inflict their own “instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender” rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law would collapse.

While he avoided commenting on the Hussain case, Grayling said the law needed to give householders better protection against intruders.

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Procedures Contracts & Rights