On September 2nd, in Leicestershire, near Melton Mowbray, two men attempted to rob a farm cottage. Instead, they got shot by the owner of the property. According to a judge, the burglars should have expected to be shot for entering a property of a gun owner. It is stated in the law that people in good faith and using reasonable force can defend themselves with any means they feel are necessary to protect themselves, their families or property from intruders.
Judge Michael Pert QC ironically stated to the burglars Daniel Mansell, 33, and Joshua O’Gorman, 27, that it is only normal to be shot once you have entered someone else’s private property in order to rob it. After all, the two burglars should have expected such an outcome given the fact that the owner of the property they entered was in the possession of a gun. The two men are now sentenced to four-year prison.
Despite the fact that both burglars pleaded guilty on an early hearing, the judge refused to accept the plea that the shooting by the owner must be treated as a mitigating factor. The plea was made on the account that the shooting caused not only injuries to the burglars, but also ‘trauma’ from what happened that day. The owner of the cottage farm, Andy Ferrie, 35, has a legal right for the gun he possesses. It was reported that he shot O’Gorman in the face and Mansell in the right hand after one of the burglars reached for a drawer that was full of kitchen knives.
The judge showed little sympathy to the two burglars. He stated that as long as someone is robbing someone else’s house or property, to be shot is not mitigation itself. After all, if you choose to burglar a house in the country, which owner is more that likely to legally own a shotgun, then it is only normal to expect that he will probably shoot at you. There is that chance with robbing farm cottages. That is why, burglars cannot expect to come to court and plead for a lighter sentence just because the owner shot at them. Mr. Ferrie was reported to have been arrested for suspicion of grievous bodily harm and because of that he was held in custody for about two days along with his wife, Tracey, 43. The couple was then released and no criminal charges were made against them. According to the judge, the experience that Mr. Perry had could have been as upsetting as the ones claimed by the burglars themselves.
The chief prosecutor for the East Midlands, Judith Walker announced that she was satisfied to see that householders can act in a reasonable self-defense when faced with intruders in frightening circumstances. She also added that the law clearly states that as long as anyone ‘acts in good faith, using reasonable force, doing what they honestly feel is necessary to protect themselves, their families or their property, will not be prosecuted for such action’.