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Munir Haussain And Frances Inglis: Law, Rights, Wrongs And Justice

inglisMUNIR Hussain is free. He badly beat a burglar Frances Inglis is jailed for life. She killed her son. He was painfully ill.

MUNIR Hussain is back at his home in Desborough Park Road, High Wycombe, after being freed from Bullingdon Prison in Oxfordshire. Hussain, 53, had his sentence reduced at the Court of Appeal in London. Mr Hussain and his brother Tokeer attacked Walid Salem, one of a gang of burglars who had broken into his family home and threatened to kill them. He hit the man with a cricket bat.

Salem suffered a fractured skull, ribs, jaw, and finger and lasting brain damage.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London with two other judges, replaced 53-year-old Hussain’s 30-month prison term with one of a year, and ordered that it should be suspended for two years.

Tokeer had his 39-month jail term reduced to two years and could be released in five months.

And Mr Hussain is media star. Those front pages:

“MERCY – dad you hit a burglar set free by court. JUDGE SENSE SENSE AT LAST” – The Sun

“Freed, man who battered raider with cricket bat” – Daily Express

“COMMON SENSE JUSTICE AT LAST” – Daily Mail

The Judgement

Retired judge Paul Firth believes Munir Hussain went beyond the use of “reasonable force” as the burglars had already fled.

He said: “Munir Hussain was perfectly entitled to feel angry, to go running after the burglars and then to detain him using what-ever force was necessary until the police arrived. But there were two against one and breaking a cricket bat in three places over somebody’s head doesn’t sound like reason-able force to me. I think the jury got it right in convicting them and I think the Court of Appeal has been more than merciful in suspending Munir’s sentence.” – Mirror

The Appeal

Delivering the verdict, Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge called the case “truly exceptional”. He added: “The plain, simple reality is that Munir Hussain was acting under the continuing influence of extreme provocation.

“Involvement in this serious violence can only be understood as a response to the dreadful and terrifying ordeal and the emotional anguish which he had undergone.

“His family had effectively been kidnapped in their own home. He feared for their lives and the honour of his wife and daughter.” – Sun

The Campaign

Mr Hussain smiled before hugging relatives as he left Bullingdon Prison, in Oxfordshire, yesterday afternoon where he had shared a cell with his brother. Earlier his other brother Qadeer, 45, called for an overhaul of the law to clarify home owners’ rights. He said: “Liberal policies have reached a point where Britain has become a Third World country in the sense that the civilised population is not protected.

“There needs to be clarification of where the home owner stands, where the victim stands and where the thugs stand.” – Express

Common sense and true British justice, says the Mail

The Police

Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said that those who put themselves in personal danger to thwart criminals were heroes and that society was all the better for their bravery. He insisted that he was not commenting directly on the Hussain case, but his remarks will be interpreted as supportive of a change in the law. – Times

The Ass

Deborah Orr: “A life sentence for Frances Inglis makes no sense – but freeing Munir Hussain does”

Frances Inglis has been found guilty of murder and attempted murder – after her second, successful attempt at killing her 22-year-old son with a heroin ¬overdose as he lay, brain-damaged, in his hospital bed. I have no quibble with that. In fact, I’m wholeheartedly against a change in the law to make “mercy killing” legal.

But Inglis has been sentenced to life imprisonment, and I can’t imagine what purpose such a sentence serves. It’s true that she has been told she must serve a minimum of nine years, but even that seems steep – and anyway, the handing down of a life sentence, however theoretical, must “mean something”. What?…

The law looks foolish when it hands down a life sentence, however “symbolic”, to a person who killed her child in part because she couldn’t bear the thought of him dying slowly, of hunger and thirst, after his life-support was switched off. More emphasis on mercy is needed in this case, surely, and less on killing.

The Politics

In the wake of Hussain’s imprisonment, the Conservatives proposed changes to the law on self-defence so that only protective actions by householders that are “grossly disproportionate” would result in arrest and prosecution. Yet this was never a clear-cut story of self-defence, and it is unlikely that Hussain would have escaped legal action even under the reforms suggested by the Tories. After managing to break free from his captors, he chased the gang and, with the aid of his brother, caught one and beat him with a cricket bat so badly that he was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial for the serious crime he had allegedly committed.

Since this happened some distance from Hussain’s home, it is likely that he would have failed the “grossly disproportionate” test. However, the fact that the alleged burglar got away with it – while Hussain was jailed for 30 months – merely compounded the sense of injustice felt across the country. Some believe he should never have been convicted at all; but under the law, he was guilty of an offence – and vigilantism cannot be condoned. – The Telegraph

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Posted: 21st, January 2010 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (8)