So, once again, a thuggish individual has felt the wrath of British law:
Munir Hussain, who was threatened at knifepoint and tied up by a gang of masked men in his living room last year, was told he must go to prison for 30 months to preserve “civilised society”.
That’s the ticket! And what, you may ask, was his crime?
Mr Hussain, his wife and children [were ambushed] as they returned to their home in High Wycombe, Bucks, on Sept 3 last year after attending Ramadan prayers at their local mosque, Reading Crown Court heard.
Their hands were tied behind their backs and they were forced to crawl from room to room before being forced to lie down in the living room.
But when Hussain’s teenage son managed to escape and raise the alarm, he seized his chance and turned on his captors.
While two of them got away, Salem was cornered in a neighbour’s front garden. With the help of his brother, Tokeer, 35, who lived nearby, Hussain set upon him with a metal pole and a cricket bat, the court heard.
He was struck so hard that the bat broke and he suffered a fractured skull. He was later deemed not fit to plead to charges of false imprisonment and given a supervision order.
There is a curious asymmetry of justice here: a vicious gang threatens a man’s family in his home, the police (of course) fail to catch the remaining miscreants and a pompous judge fails to punish the original transgressor with even a cursory slap on the wrist, while another pompous judge talks about “preserving civilised society” while doing his level best to bring about its downfall. I’m a reasonably mild-mannered man myself, but if someone were to threaten my family with a weapon and the chance arose for me to express my opinion, I certainly would not hold back – even if the Criminal Justice system in this country wasn’t so, well, criminal. It is hardly surprising that someone in Mr Hussain’s position would snap. Judge Reddihough has, ironically, done more to damage faith in his vision of a civilised society than if he’d ordered the knife-wielding thug hung and set Mr Hussain off with a pat on the bottom and a wish of “Bonne chance!”
It is possibly true that in a civilised society, we should not pursue thugs out of our homes and beat their miserable hides within an inch of death. But then it’s also certainly true that in a civilised society, knife-wielding thugs shouldn’t threaten a man and his family. It’s also true that the police should be able to catch such miscreants if they do threaten a man and his family, yet we see no sign of apprehending the thugs who accompanied the “poor, innocent victim” of this brutal beating. And of course, it’s also true that judges should be counted on to actually punish people who live outside of the law.
I fail to see how this travesty will do anything to make people feel anything but that they dare not defend themselves in any way and wonder why we have a police force or judges. Inevitably, there is only one way in which this insult upon natural justice could get worse and today, we are halfway there:
Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, promised a review of current legislation if his party wins power in next year’s general election.
Ah, the magic of a “review of legislation”! The first sound of a bandwagon being hitched. It’s like the mating call of politicians. I am slightly disappointed that the sensible man of the people, Postman Al, has not yet latched on to this, possibly ordering a “review” of the case so that he can come across as being sensitive to the feelings of the public, and being even more effective and directed than his opposite number, who is the Tory “attack chihuahua”. There is no headline that cannot be usurped by a politician promising a review, which will be undertaken over several agreeable, taxpayer-funded lunches, achieve nothing and then be quietly forgotten.
While Jack “The Hat” Straw insists that the definition of “reasonable force” is adequate to provide defence for people like Mr Hussain, it’s hard to imagine what may have transpired in that situation. Perhaps the thugs could have implied that they’d be back, perhaps when Mrs Hussain was at home alone, or perhaps they could have said that they knew where Mr Hussain’s children went to school. Unlike Mr Straw, normal citizens do not have round the clock protection by the police, nor do they have the resources of the entire “justice system” at their beck and call. Perhaps this case is just another symptom of a political elite (which includes the judiciary) that is increasingly dissociated from the rest of us.
But one thing is for sure: the cause of justice and an improvement in the lives of the rest of us will never be served by the mealy-mouthed utterances of politicians, desperate to hitch themselves to the latest bandwagon.