I restore the Balance
Posted On:3/18/2003 8:44pm
Style: I wear pants
Burglars to be banned from suing victims
By David Bamber, Home Affairs Correspondent
Burglars who are injured while committing a crime are to banned from suing their victims for compensation. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, has bowed to public pressure after the outcry over the case of Brendon Fearon, the burglar who is trying to sue Tony Martin for £15,000 after being shot while breaking into his home.
Fearon, 33, was jailed for three years for his part in the robbery, but was freed after 18 months. He now wants compensation because he claims he has been unable to find a job since he received gunshot wounds to his leg in the raid on Martin's Norfolk home in August 1999. Fearon, who is now back in prison after committing drug offences, is using legal aid to pursue his claim. Martin, 59, is serving a prison sentence for shooting dead Fearon's accomplice, 16-year-old Fred Barras, when the pair broke into his farm in Emneth Hungate.
Oliver Letwin, the shadow home secretary, has launched an amendment to the Government's Criminal Justice Bill, which is at committee stage, to prevent criminals who are injured while breaking and entering from launching a civil case against a householder. Mr Blunkett has accepted the proposal and will change the Bill. Once law, it will prohibit a convicted criminal from suing for damages over injuries received while committing crime. It will also protect the police from claims from prisoners who are injured while being apprehended. A Home Office official, who insisted that the Government had been preparing its proposals for some time, said: "Mr Blunkett is angry that the courts are being misused in this basic way.
It is unthinkable that burglars should sue for compensation when they are the cause of their injuries." The amendment should become law by early autumn. The change will not be retrospective but unless Fearon's claim has been heard by then it will be thrown out under the new laws. Fearon's writ stated several reasons for the damages claim, including his leg injuries stopping him from finding work, that he was concerned about his "long-term sexual functioning" and that he was "very tearful" when watching a film where someone dies.
Fearon also claimed that he was afraid of fireworks, no longer enjoyed martial arts and was depressed about television shows featuring gunfire.
Kungfoolss, Scourge of the theory-based stylists, Most Feared man at Mcdojo.com, creator of the Kungfoolss Darwinian Awards, and the Preeminent Force in the martial arts political arena
Kungfoolss, Scourge of the theory-based stylists, Most Feared man at Bullshido.com, and the Preeminent Force in the martial arts political arena
The man they call FoM
Posted On:3/18/2003 10:56pm
Thats pretty funny.
The poor man can no longer enjoy fireworks...
Make friends with them until they beg for mercy.
The Wastrel - So attractive he HAS to be a woman.
Posted On:3/19/2003 11:22am
What bugs me, tho, is that Martin is serving a jail sentence for shooting the other burglar.
Posted On:3/26/2003 5:00am
Good fucking job, I like Blunkett.
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