If a burglar broke into my home, brandishing a weapon, I would do anything that i could to defend myself. Wouldn't you? The chances are my young son would be asleep in bed. I don't want a criminal wandering around my home potentially injuring him. But if the burglar is injured or killed as a result, what protections do I have in law?
That is the question that is on many people's lips today after the news that Richard Osborn-Brooks, a 78 year-old pensioner, was arrested for murder after two burglars broke into his home. One, brandishing a screwdriver, forced Mr. Osborn-Brooks downstairs. The other searched his home, looking for things to steal. Whilst Mr. Osborn-Brooks was downstairs, his wife, who is believed to be either suffering from dementia or is disabled, was at the mercy of one of the men. Mr. Osborn-Brooks did what anyone of would do if we had the opportunity. He managed to overcome one of the men, and in the scuffle, the burglar was stabbed with the screwdriver that he would have used on Mr. Osborn-Brooks. The two burglars fled, but the one who had been stabbed collapsed in the street and later died of his injuries. As I write, the other burglar is still at large.
For the police to them arrest the pensioner, drag him down to the station and question him overnight, was heavy handed to say the least. Of course there are procedures to go through, but it's as obvious as the nose on your face that Mr. Osborn-Brooks is not a criminal. He has been bailed and must report to the police in early May.
London is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. Every other day we hear about another murder. For the police to to be as heavy handed as they have been in this case hardly reassures the public.
This must be a very worrying time for, according to many of his neighbours who have spoken to journalists, a lovely, nice man who was put into a dangerous position through no fault of his own. If the police do decide to press charges, we at The Freedom Association will happily join the campaign to get those charges dropped.