4.11.2006

British advice to crime victims: make like a Frenchy and surrender

Self-defense is a crime in Britain:

A storekeeper was knifed in the back as he tackled a gang of youths stealing wine from his Norwich store. He was arrested on two charges of assault.

Shirley Best, owner of the Rolander Fashion Boutique, was ironing some garments when two youths broke in. They pressed the hot iron into her side and stole her watch, leaving her badly burnt. "I was frightened to defend myself," said Miss Best, "I thought if I did anything I would be arrested." In July 2002, a shopkeeper, Richard Barnes, hit a teenage thief whom he had confronted with a single blow. The thief had previously thrown a punch at him. Mr. Barnes was arrested, tried before a jury, and eventually acquitted after a three-day trial in the Hull Crown Court.

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