Skip to comments.In the clear! No charges against couple who shot burglers who targeted their isolated cottage (UK)
Posted on 09/06/2012 4:39:07 AM PDT by marktwain
The couple arrested for opening fire on intruders who targeted their isolated cottage will not face charges, the Crown Prosecution Service announced last night.
Andy and Tracey Ferrie had been held on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after dialling 999 to report that they had discharged a shotgun when a four-man gang broke in to their home in the middle of the night.
The couple spent almost three days and nights in custody until they were released on bail late on Tuesday night.
Yesterday, hours after two men appeared in court charged with burglary in connection with the raid on the Ferries 200-year-old cottage, prosecutors said it was clear the couple did what they believed was necessary to protect themselves, and their home, from intruders.
The decision was greeted as a victory for common sense by friends and relatives.
Mrs Ferries mother, Hazel Towell, and her husband, John, called for a change in the law to give greater protection to property owners who defended their homes from intruders.
Mr Towell, 62, said: It is terrifying, what happened to them.
What else could they have done? I feel so overjoyed the charges have been dropped.
Her mother has the weight off her shoulders.
This is the way forward. Police should have common sense.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Give ‘em training:
basically, not one peep out of the government regarding this. telling. very telling.
If the charges were dropped why were they released on bail?
Probably for possessing a legally owned firearm. /s
Awesome! Hard to believe that this is from the U.K.
In a sane society, this wouldn’t even be an issue. But, we’re talking about an insane government that took away just about everybody’s guns...
“Today, the laws of Briton demand that we be willing victims of armed intruders!”
“The law DEMANDS that we should DIE and leave British citizens to hope the cops find the killers before they kill again!”
So, new strategy ... get the homeowner to fire a shotgun in defending their home - then you have 3 days in which to rob them of everything they own, without any rush at all.
This doesn’t seem like victory. Is anyone planning to compensate this couple for spending three days in jail? And why were both of them jailed? Did both of them pull the trigger? It sounds like a defacto sentence imposed to discourage people from defending themselves.
It’s all about the money. They’ll end up having to pay a hefty fine on some ridiculous charge and forfeit the bail.
The momentum of the downward spiral is unstoppable. The UK is over.
Actually very few guns were 'taken away'. Legally owned guns in Britain have always been predominantly shotguns and various categories of hunting rifle: and these have never been banned. The number of handguns etc was always very small in comparison, for all sorts of historical reasons. Given the increasing popularity of countryside shooting sports in Britain, it's quite possible indeed that there are now more legally-owned guns in Britain than at any time in the past.
As for this case, and others like it, if the police are called to the scene of a shooting in which B appears to have been shot by A, it's not unreasonable of them not immediately to accept A's version of events, however plausible it may seem, without thoroughly investigating the facts. Indeed it would be quite unprofessional of the police not to do so. As it turns out A's account appears to have been verified, and they will not face charges. Difficult to see anything wrong with this. This has been the procedure in a number of similar cases.
While the stories need to be sorted out, the homeowners should have any benefit of doubt over the burglars. They should not have been imprisoned like criminals for three days. Likewise, if a shopkeeper shoots an armed robber, keep in mind that criminals typically rob shopkeepers, not the other way around. A bit of common sense would do wonders for the legal system, but it is evidently lacking.
I would find that very hard to believe. The requirements for owning any gun have been racheted up quite a bit in the last few decades. My understanding is that you did not need any permit to own a shotgun a couple of decades ago, now you need one simply to own an airgun. I have also heard that you have to provide the police a reason to own the gun, and proof of secure storage.
I have heard that the fees for the permit need to be paid and the process gone through every few years.
Please correct me if I have misunderstood these requirements.
No permits needed for air rifles.
Firearms certificates have been needed since at least WWII, possibly before.
You do need proof of secure storage, and the police do check your weapon and storage on the renewal of the certificate which is once every 5 years or so, costs £40 and is very unobtrusive - pop round, have a cup of tea, look at the gun cupboard, finish the cup of tea, leave.
It’s not a perfect system but guns aren’t an important part of our national psyche and it works pretty well
It appears that no license was required for purchasing shotguns, and no records were required to be kept, until 1968. I could not do a very good job of cutting and pasting :
In the important Criminal Justice Act 1967, which brought about a
major overhaul of the criminal justice system, Mr Jenkins
introduced, in Part V, a system in which, for the first time,
persons had to obtain a licence before acquiring a shotgun.
I read that air guns that exceed a power level of 12 fpe (foot pounds of energy) require the same certificate as a firearm. Many common air rifles in the United States exceed this limit. This limit was imposed in 1968.
I own two .177 caliber air rifles. I believe that both of them exceed this limit. For comparison, a common .22 short rimfire cartridge, which is one of the lowest power firearm cartridges, has nearly 70 fpe.
"I would find that very hard to believe."
Happy to acknowledge that this is a subjective impression rather than something I can back up with statistics - although one telling statistic is that in the 14 years or so since the post-Dunblane restrictions took effect, the number of legally-owned guns of all types has risen by just over 10%, and now stands at 1.81 million.
My impression is also doubtless coloured by the fact that I have two large commercial gamebird shooting estates as my near neighbours - and the frequency of gunfire by the sound of which I'm daily entertained during the season has increased dramatically over recent years...
Nonsense. That statement conveniently ignores the fact that "A" was at his residence, which had been forcibly invaded by "B". "B" were the ones committing the crime in a home which they had no business being in. "A" should clearly get the benefit of the doubt in such circumstances, not a preemptive arrest and incarceration for 3 days.
"A" need never have been incarcerated in the first place. That's the way it is in America, and law enforcement suffers no hardship as a result. There should be plenty of opportunity for British law enforcement to arrest "A" if after some investigation there is probable cause to do so.
Instead, the British people are "subjected" to arbitrary arrest and incarceration, for DAYS, without any probable cause.
Such a level of submissiveness on the part of the average British subject is untoward, shameful, and should not be tolerated by people who dare to call themselves "free."
In America, a man's home is his castle. In the UK, a man's home is his castle only after an arrest and detention and clearance of his name. Basically, in the UK, even in a case of self defense of one's own home, a de facto presumption of guilt is made (including arrest and multi-day detention) until the British subject is graciously deemed to be innocent by the police.
It's amazing what can be made to pass for so-called freedom in countries where collectivist and statist dogma and propaganda are so pervasive.
The most telling thing is that the criminals are the ones who called the police on the homeowner, as if the criminals had been wronged in some way.
Patently absurd. You Brits keep having fun with your collectivist authoritarian socialist democracy, we'll try to manage over here with something at least approaching freedom, which gives the benefit of the doubt in castle doctrine cases.
This is good news. Thank you for the information. I have read that there is a movement in the UK to create something like the Castle Doctrine laws that we have in most of the United States.
I appreciate your informative contributions to this discussion.
As for abuses of investagatory power, we see plenty of them in the United States.
Not quite. The rules which apply are set out in detail here:
(sorry, for some reason I can't get that reference to show as a link)
Probable cause is every bit as important here as it is in the U.S. Whether the homeowners are simply questioned without being detained, or (usually briefly) detained for questioning depends on the specific circumstance of each case. There are instances of the former as well as the latter. For all we know, in this case there may well have been legitimate doubts about whether events were quite as they seemed, which had to be resolved.
Could you please tell me, as a matter of absolutely genuine curiosity, what the procedure would be if this incident happened in your state.
What is the role of the police, what do they do, how do they conduct their investigation, etc. etc.
Well, first of all, the homeowner, in protecting his family and castle, is automatically entitled to the benefit of the doubt. He has no duty to retreat, and is entitled to use deadly force if he reasonably believes there is a threat to life or limb of any person, or even valuable personal property. Don't forget, property involves livelihood, and the loss of it can be the difference between life and death (such as stealing a man's horse, for instance.)
Unless there is some compelling evidence to be found at the scene of the incident which contradicts the homeowner, it is basically unheard of for the homeowner to be arrested, taken to jail, and incarcerated for several days.
The bottom line is that the citizen in his home is absolutely given the benefit of the doubt, and that is as it should be in a free society.
This is true in my home state of Florida, as well as virtually all other states in the Union.
Exactly the opposite seems to be the case in the UK, and that's Tyrannical. It's comforting to realize that the homeowner in this case was eventually exonerated, but "guilty until proven innocent" in such cases is the hallmark of a state which is too powerful, and citizens which are too easily dominated and whose rights are not sufficiently protected.
The American system of protecting and empowering the individual who exercises self-defense is, quite simply, superior to that of other countries.
I don't mean to disparage the UK, because it is obviously much closer to a free society than almost any other country. But America is exceptional in this regard, as in so many others which relate to Freedom.
There are still many vestiges of arbitrary authoritarianism in America as well, such as our ridiculous and Tyrannical contraband laws, for example.
Ideally, and additionally, in the absence of any such infringing acts on your part, you are further entitled to be left alone, which is another extremely important concept in America. What you do in your home with other individuals, what you drink, eat, smoke, etc. is of no concern to anybody else, or the state, and there must be a compelling reason for the state to intervene or interfere with your concept of "the pursuit of happiness."
Absent your infringement on another person's rights, the state does not determine what it means for you to pursue your happiness. You, and only you, do.
Sorry for rambling, I hope I've answered your question.
As I mentioned before, to me, it's most telling that the criminals themselves are the ones who called 999. That's just mind-blowing.
Another important distinction is: suppose the homeowner had shot and killed one of the perpetrators. Frequently, under US law, it is the other members of the crime gang who can be charged with murder, due to the fact that the killing occurred as a direct result of the criminals initiating the incident.
This situation can occasionally allow an homeowner to get away with murder. Here in America, you shouldn't lightly be lured into the home of your enemy, because it greatly increases the likelihood that you could be killed, and the killer could get away with it because of this benefit of the doubt.
Police can and do thoroughly investigate such incidents in order to make sure there's nothing odd going on, but because of the leeway given the homeowner, it's probably easier to get a way with murder in cases like this.
Indeed it is. But surely it's mind-blowing in two ways, as it implies that the homeowners chose not to call the police. That may in turn be one reason - who can tell? - why the police took longer than might be expected to be sure of the facts. We can only speculate on the basis of not-necessarily-reliable press reports.
I suspect that the powers of arrest and detention in our two countries do not in practice diverge that widely, They do, after all, ultimately derive from a common origin in English Common Law - and certainly I think it's going too far to describe either as 'arbitrary'. There's a much wider gulf between these powers and those in countries, such as many in mainland Europe, where the legal systems have their origins in Roman/Napoleonic law.