Helen Martin: Scots law needs some English justice

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A 78-year-old man in London managed to fight off one of two burglars who raided his home when he and his dementia-suffering wife were asleep.

During a struggle, the burglar, who is believed to have been armed with a screwdriver, was stabbed and subsequently died, having been abandoned by his “mate”. Pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks was then arrested on suspicion of murder.

However, according to English law a home owner can use “disproportionate force” – but not “grossly disproportionate force” – in the heat of the moment and Mr Osborn-Brooks has been released without charge.

However under Scots law, a panicking old man in such a vulnerable position is expected to keep his cool to use “proportionate and reasonable” defence as if he was a young, strong, trained commando.

Scots law needs to be improved to match the logic and justice that exists south of the Border.

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