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Robbers in your house – how would you react?

Munir-HussainThe case of businessman Munir Hussain, convicted for tackling a knife-wielding career criminal who was holding his family hostage, is covered in the papers today

Interestingly, the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph have the most comprehensive coverage of a case that will surely prompt serious questions. The basic facts are as follows:

  1. Three robbers enter his home, ordering Hussain, his wife, daughter and two sons to lie on the floor;
  2. As one of his sons escapes, and the robbers start to flee, Hussain hits one of the invaders with a coffee table and continues to beat him;
  3. Hussain is convicted of inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent and is awaiting sentencing at Reading Crown Court yesterday.

Hussain, 52, a millionaire businessman and former chairman of the Wycombe Race Equality Council, is now facing jail. He faces a maximum of life imprisonment.

Committing any violence is completely unacceptable. But the issues raised by this case are nevertheless important. If invaders broke into your home and held your family hostage, what would you do, presented with a chance to apprehend the invader?

Ironically, earlier this week a charity made the news after staging “mock muggings” in an attempt to highlight Britain’s “walk on by” society, and encourage people to intervene when faced with a criminal.

If the public are expected to tackle criminals who are attacking strangers, can we not expect people to defend their own families in their own homes?

Clearly force needs to be proportionate, and that may have been a factor in the Hussain case, but which of us can guarantee we wouldn’t overreact when nabbing a knife-wielding robber inside our homes?

Lester Holloway
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One Response

  1. In my own home it would be whatever it took. I wouldn’t be wondering whether people would deem it reasonable or proportionate.

    However, by the look of it the majority of the ‘response’ took place outside of the home, with several people involved, using a cricket bat and a metal bar.

    It is unclear whether this involved Mr Hussain or any of his family, but if it did he might be hard pushed to argue that he was acting ‘defensively’.

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