Drawing a line with home intruders and self defence

Dry Rot

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Thread starter #1
Another "reasonable force" case?

Where should the line be drawn when someone breaks into your home?

I find it a little odd that the law expects us to use reasonable force against an intruder who has chosen to enter/attack, while you have no idea of his weapons, intent etc

A man has been charged with murder after he allegedly confronted a burglar who broke into his house on Saturday morning and left the man with fatal injuries. Police say 34-year-old Richard James Slater, known as Ricky, broke into a house in the Newcastle suburb of Hamilton at 3.30am on Saturday and was discovered by two men.

It is believed one man lived at the Cleary Street home with his young family, while the other man was his friend. A fight broke out when the pair confronted Mr Slater and they subsequently "detained" him to try to stop him from leaving, police say.
When officers arrived, they found Mr Slater unconscious and "unresponsive". He was rushed to John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition and placed onto life support, but died at 11.30am on Sunday when his life support was switched off.

Mr Slater was recently released from jail after he successfully appealed and overturned several convictions relating to aggravated break and enter offences in the Newcastle area.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/man-dies-...ng-detained-by-homeowner-20160327-gnruib.html
 

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#2

deathevocation

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#3
I'd work on the basis that anyone who has chosen to break into your home has the worst intentions. It's 2am and you are asleep and have kids in the house. Wake up to the noise of an intruder. You have no idea who they are, what they are armed with or their criminal history. If the crook dies, so be it. I imagine in this instance, the police believe the crook may have been killed whilst being detained and at a time when he was no longer a threat. Well he's no threat no more. Any criminal lawyers on here care to advise how the courts generally see these sort of cases?
 

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#4
This from NSW

http://www.streetoncriminallawyers.com.au/death-of-home-invader-and-self-defence/

In the above case there is a grey area that excessive force cannot be proven because '' he was unconscious and unresponsive'' . To me excessive force means the person died or you used a weapon to an unarmed person and they died. They could argue they had him in a chokehold to restrain him.

The law of self defence in most states is based on excessive force. eg NSW

Self-defence in NSW is a statutory defence (provided for in legislation), with sections 418 to 423 of the Crimes Act 1900 governing its application. See SELF DEFENCE for more information. Self-defence is a full defence which means that if an accused person can establish that they were acting in self-defence, that are not criminally responsible.

Generally, for an accused person to rely on self-defence, he or she must establish that they:

  1. believed that their conduct was necessary to defend themselves, defend another, to prevent damage or interference with property, or trespass; and,
  2. what they did was a reasonable response in the circumstances as perceived by the accused.
In SA it is similar.
 

GreyCrow

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#5
, the police believe the crook may have been killed whilst being detained and at a time when he was no longer a threat.
At what stage does detaining someone move into detaining someone to be arrested? I would argue I held him by the neck your honour to prevent him being taken into lawful custody. I sat on his chest to prevent him moving(and breathing)

If not I would be comfortable going to court and showing the jury his criminal history.
 

Power Raid

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#11
I'd work on the basis that anyone who has chosen to break into your home has the worst intentions. It's 2am and you are asleep and have kids in the house. Wake up to the noise of an intruder. You have no idea who they are, what they are armed with or their criminal history. If the crook dies, so be it. I imagine in this instance, the police believe the crook may have been killed whilst being detained and at a time when he was no longer a threat. Well he's no threat no more. Any criminal lawyers on here care to advise how the courts generally see these sort of cases?
I think that's the way the police see it.

The criminal breaking in recently had prior overturned on appeal. He then finds himself re-offending and dead. In short he has let himself down but he was clearly let down by the judicial system.

The charges of murder are unusual but charges have to be laid so the courts can do their job. If the police wanted a conviction, man slaughter would have been the obvious choice to ensure a conviction.
 

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CM86

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#14
oh dear, I thought it was all in the daughter's bedroom
Only caught a snippet, but looks like it's true.
Also heard that his neck was broken, but it doesn't say that in the article.

Mr Batterham and a 32-year-old friend became involved in a fight with Mr Slater, which continued outside on the street

Neighbours say they were woken by the sound of loud bangs and people running.

Police received a call that three men were fighting and arrived to find the two men had "detained" Mr Slater.​

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/man-dies-...-homeowner-20160327-gnruib.html#ixzz44A3oMDUT



I really don't know which way to think about this yet.
 

Power Raid

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#15
Only caught a snippet, but looks like it's true.
Also heard that his neck was broken, but it doesn't say that in the article.

Mr Batterham and a 32-year-old friend became involved in a fight with Mr Slater, which continued outside on the street

Neighbours say they were woken by the sound of loud bangs and people running.

Police received a call that three men were fighting and arrived to find the two men had "detained" Mr Slater.​

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/man-dies-...-homeowner-20160327-gnruib.html#ixzz44A3oMDUT



I really don't know which way to think about this yet.
looks like one of those events where a whole pile of things lined up perfectly.

- the criminal (slater) released on appeal has meant a criminal finds himself back on the street without any chance of rehab
- the reason why he was released on appeal could have been a police f up
- his charge was aggravated break and enter which I understand is carrying a firearm
- the criminal unsurprisingly comes from a trashy environment
"They have lost their father, their beautiful father, they haven't seen for years because he was in jail," she said.
- as he was released he had no chance of rehab
- I don't know Ben Batterham's but something doesn't feel right

defending yourself is not an issue and in my mind that includes reasonable force to ensure safety and defeating one's opponent. Chasing the guy down the street is no longer self defence unless the criminal engages in conflict to get away. The necessary force to bring down and control a guy as large as slater would be massive but not sure what technique was used to break his neck.
 

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#17
I now see where a manslaughter charge could be preferred as self defence is out the window.

Manslaughter can be argued that they '' only meant to tackle him and detain him'' ie a Death without Pre-meditation
 

Andre

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#21
I'd work on the basis that anyone who has chosen to break into your home has the worst intentions. It's 2am and you are asleep and have kids in the house. Wake up to the noise of an intruder. You have no idea who they are, what they are armed with or their criminal history. If the crook dies, so be it. I imagine in this instance, the police believe the crook may have been killed whilst being detained and at a time when he was no longer a threat. Well he's no threat no more. Any criminal lawyers on here care to advise how the courts generally see these sort of cases?
Exactly. So I wake up to find an intruder in the house, I'm meant to ask him 'And how many weapons are you carrying?', before worrying if I don't clock him one ASAP then he could do god knows what to my kids and wife? If you break into someone's house, then you deserve everything you get.
 

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#24
The law is well-intentioned, but how are you supposed to determine a reasonable response when you wake up and find someone in your house?
Whatever leaves the intruder in a comatose heap on the front verge
 
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