The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nothing Is As It Seems

This story in The Guardian shows how journalists anxious to run a good story and people with their own agenda can plant blatant untruths in the public's consciousness. I smelt a rat when I first read that Ms.Klass had been advised against brandishing a knife in her own home, since the words "in a public place" are usually to be found in any weapon-related charges. Unfortunately this story, that appears to have been a cunning bit of PR, will have embedded itself in the popular culture, just like the don't-shovel-snow business that we talked about a few posts ago. The fact is that you have nothing to fear if you tackle an intruder in your own home, provided that you don't go wildly over the top, just as you have nothing to fear if you make an honest attempt to clear up snow. As Jon commented yesterday:-
There is no reported case in which a householder has been held liable in the circumstances described.
Just going back to Ms. Klass, wouldn't any jury (even if it got that far) find that it would be perfectly understandable for a lone woman to pick up a knife if faced by a couple of burly young men?