A ruling that allows homeowners to disable or attack intruders with ‘disproportionate force’ will not be abused as it would only be valid “under the circumstances”, according to the Supreme Court.
Should an intruder or burglar be found in a home, homeowners will have the right to ‘householder defence.’ The new homeowner right to defend self and property was declared compatible with European human rights laws.
However, the right to do so is only available depending on the circumstances.
The legal landmark case of Denby Collins, an intruder wherein homeowners of a property he trespassed had placed him in a headlock that resulted to his current coma, gave the homeowner’s family the right to self-defence through “disproportionate force.”
Collins’ family took the case against the homeowner, arguing their son’s human rights had been breached. Collins’ right under Article 2(1) of the ECHR. However, the judges rejected the case on grounds that the homeowner’s actions are permitted by Section 76 (5A) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.
President of the Queen’s Bench Division Sir Brian Leveson said:
“In the circumstances I conclude that the criminal law of England and Wales on self defence in householder cases, taken as a whole, fulfils the framework obligation under Article 2(1).
“The headline message is and remains clear: a householder will only be able to avail himself of the defence if the degree of force he used was reasonable in the circumstances as he believed them to be.”