20 December, 2009

British (in)justice

Munir (left) and Toker Hussain were jailed for 39 and 30 months. Intruders tied up Munir’s family and threatened to kill them. Photo: Handout/PA

Two brothers, who were described as pillars of their community were jailed for 30 and 39 months respectively for defending themselves and family against a gang who broke into their home, lay in wait, tied them up and threatened to kill them.

What’s even more unusual, is the bandit was given no jail time. Instead, the judge cited the usual nonsense about “…the public must not take law into their own hands…” and proceeded to jail two businessmen with no criminal records. The impact on the community will be negative and immediate, as 10 employees will lose their jobs, due to the jailing.

The brothers, Munir and Toker Hussain live in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. The bandit, Walid Salem is a criminal with more than 50 previous convictions. The other gang members escaped.

Since our final court of appeal is the British Privy Council, then Trinidadians and Tobagonians could look forward to such a perversion of justice should we do our duty in defending our loved ones during a violent home invasion.

In a similar situation, in Trinidad this time, a well-known and respected doctor shot and killed a bandit who invaded his Ft George home and tied him up. Ironically, the bandit was shot with his own gun. Dr Ralph Hoyte, 89, a founding member of the T&T Family Planning Association, was surprisingly calm during an interview with a reporter merely hours after the home invasion.

"If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed." (Exodus 22:2)

"The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction." - Henry St. George Tucker, in Blackstone's 1768 Commentaries on the Laws of England

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