Dartford MP defends burglary victim firing shotgun
DARTFORD MP Gareth Johnson has said homeowners “should be able to use whatever force they like” to defend their homes from burglars.
His statement comes after a judge jailed two burglars who were shot while breaking into a house in Welby, Leicestershire.
Mr Johnson said: “We must remember that the real victims are the homeowners, not the burglars.”
Joshua O'Gorman, 27, and Daniel Mansell, 33, broke into the house of Andy Ferrie, 35, in the early hours of September 2.
Prosecutor Alan Murphy told Leicester crown court one of the men reached for a knife before Mr Ferrie used a legally-owned shotgun to fire at the intruders.
O'Gorman was shot in the face and Mansell in the right hand.
They fled and police arrested Mr and Mrs Ferrie on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.
They were not charged.
Judge Michael Pert told defendants on September 26: "I make it plain that, in my judgment, being shot is not mitigation.
"If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally-held shotgun, that is the chance you take.
"You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it.”
The Dartford’s MP said: “In recent years we have seen too many instances of victims of crime coming under fire for defending themselves or their property and I think it is important that the balance is redressed.
“I welcome the judge’s decision and think it sends out the right message: these two individuals entered a private property with full intention of committing burglary.
“Burglary rates in Kent fell by 5% last year and whilst this is good news for our residents, I believe it would be even lower if we made it clearer for homeowners what rights they have to defend their property.
"Provided that grossly disproportionate force is not used then a homeowner should be able to use whatever force they like to stop someone burgling their home.
“We need burglars to feel afraid and not homeowners.”