Thursday, January 21, 2010


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A millionaire businessman jailed for attacking an intruder who kidnapped his family and held them at knife-point was freed by the court of appeal today.

This man should never have been put in prison in the first place, and his brother shouldn’t be there now. You know, we are citizens of a society so surely the police and judicial whine that, “You must not take the law into your own hands,” is anti-society, it’s a charter to renege on any societal responsibility, it’s an excuse to say, “Nothing to do with me mate.”

This is all about the state not wanting any of its citizens to have any power at all because, really, its power over you is more important to it than its power to prevent criminals harming you. If some shite kills you in your own home, the state isn’t threatened, but you having personal responsibility, the power to act for yourself and think for yourself is plain dangerous to it.

Hussain, 53, had discovered three masked men in his house when he returned with his family from prayers at their local mosque. The burglars forced them into the house, tied them up and threatened to kill them before Hussain managed to escape and alert his brother, Tokeer Hussain.

The pair returned to the house in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and chased and caught one of the gang, Walid Salem, a criminal with more than 50 previous convictions. The court heard Salem was then subjected to a "dreadful, violent attack" during which he was hit so hard with a cricket bat that it broke into three pieces, leaving him with brain damage.

So, because of the time delay this is a revenge attack. Revenge is only something the state is allowed, when it is being harmed. It’ll throw you into prison for tax fraud, for example, but nutters with knives threatening someone’s family get a get-out-of-jail-free card:

Walid Salem, 57, was set free by a judge while Munir Hussain, the householder, was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Oh, and apparently Walid Salem’s brain damage was not sufficient to stop him going on to commit further crimes:

Salem was arrested on January 4 this year carrying 20 counterfeit credit cards, a false driving licence in the name of Gamal Ben Ghali, a stolen driving licence photocard in the name of Brenda Gray, and a stolen driving license photocard, National Insurance Card and Halifax card belonging to Lucie Taylor. It is thought Brenda Gray and Lucie Taylor are the names of two crime victims.

I think there are some definite lessons to be learned here. The first and most important is: buy an aluminium baseball bat – it won’t break.


Unknown said...

Agree 100% with everything you said mr Asher, especially the last part. Unfortunately those kind of "incidents" happen all the time everywhere. We have plenty of those here in Sweden.

Unknown said...

Are you suggesting that revenge attacks should be legal?

If not, then where do you believe the line should be drawn?

Alexander Kruel said...

Exceptions should at most be made afterwards, on a case-to-case basis. But not by weakening the law itself. There are very good reasons why revenge attacks are illegal and should always stay illegal.

Anarchy does not work. You'll only end up with honor killings, witch-hunts and the stoning of homosexuals.

Even in cases where it seems understandable you'll have to penalize individuals. Otherwise other people will take this as charter to do the same, because they think their case is on equal grounds.

Michael Stone said...

This is a tough call, Neal. I agree with the first half or your post 100%, but this case in particular...I'm not sure getting your brother and visiting someone's home to smash their heads in with a cricket bat can be construed as self-defence. It's just revenge. That said, Walid Salem deserved every stroke, and it pisses me off no end that the guy got a get-out-fjail free card and went on to commit further crimes despite 'suffering brain damage'.

Neal Asher said...

Thanks Nicola.

I don't know Ian, should they? Certainly anything our judicial system does isn't a deterrent. Could you tell me at what point you realize that the forces of law & order are no longer on your side, when the knife is going into your gut or coming out?

XiXiDu, the law is already weakened by failure to back it up by punishing the offender, which is why we're getting more violent crime here in Britain. And if everybody started doing the same as Hussain maybe criminal shits would think twice about breaking into people's houses and assaulting them?

Neal Asher said...

Yeah, I'll admit it is a tough call, but I felt the need to rant (for reasons I'm not going into I'm not Mr Congeneality today). The problem here is our twisted judicial system. Hussain should have what he got in the end (a slap on the wrist) and they should have thrown the book at the real offender, cracked skull or not. Just step back a moment and look at first causes, it's quite simple: the man would not have ended up with a cracked skull if he hadn't tied up someone's family and threatened to kill them.

Criminals should be frightened of the law and they are not. It all comes from the crazy twist in our society in which liberal pricks view criminals as victims of some societal ill, but just ignore or forget about the real victims.

Alexander Kruel said...

I recommend this Harvard lecture series:

Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do?

"An ethics course is one of the greatest and most deeply formative experiences of one's intellectual life."

Alexander Kruel said...

And since we're talking about ethics. Check out this very nice take on metaethics packed into a SF story:

"The kind of classic fifties-era first-contact story that Jonathan Swift might have written, if Jonathan Swift had had a background in game theory." -- (Hugo nominee) Peter Watts, "In Praise of Baby-Eating"

Jebel Krong said...

what gets me is that they treat the assault on the burglar after the incident as completely separate in the eyes of the law "an attack on a by-then defenceless man" - where 5 minutes ago he had tied people up and threatened to kill them, how do you not have cause and effect in the eyes of the law for the repercussion?

and they only re-sentenced him because of the national outcry.

if it had been me he wouldn't have gotten away with just a beating, no matter where i caught him after...

SFcrowsnest said...

It wasn't justice the police and courts were worried about when they jailed the father - and it certainly isn't the victim - it's a demarcation dispute, because when you defend yourself, you're doing those f*******s out of their jobs.

The same law that shrugs it shoulders and allows a mother and her disabled daughter to be harassed to death over decades will go all Judge Dredd on your arse when you dare raise your fist to one of these little hoodie shits.

Health and safety, innit. Me human rights have been, like, all violated.

There's no justice. There's just us.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

who had the most money? thats usually how these games are won.

LarryS said...

Is this what they call a civilised society,where you can't defend your own hearth and home? Its crazy! A similar thing was in the news when Mylene Klaas got in trouble for shouting at possible attackers while she happened to be holding a knife-it insane-and as Mr Beadle says, the law is a ass!

Scott said...

Aluminum baseball bats don't break, but they also don't pack nearly enough wallop. If you've watched the final Joe Pesci scene in "Casino,"
you've seen the results of this shortcoming.

Crowbars, however, exhibit neither fault.

Grim's Reality said...

We will be tough on the causes of crime: criminals.
– Excerpt from a speech by Jobsworth.

This is what is required. I live in a town, where the local authority dumps it's scum and lets them get on with it. They shit on their own doorstep and anyone elses that gets in the way.

From dumping tippers full of crap into the local irrigation ditches, stealing cars and bikes and burning them in parks, to robbing their neighbours.

There is no fear of the law, no fear of consequence. Bring back the birch, take their property and destroy it, and most of all lock the fuckers up and leave em locked up.

If you are a career criminal, the only place for you is in a six foot wooden box or a 6 by 6 concrete room.

Jebel Krong said...

it's time all these liberal politicians have realised the last 20 years of crime and rehabilitation just doesn't work - it engenders almost complete societal breakdown when there are no consequences for your actions or any individual responsibility; crime and punishment is what will work - make the punishment horrific enough and people will think twice before doing something they know is wrong.

Scott said...

For many, the reluctance to empower law enforcement stems from a lack of faith in the justice system. If you consider the justice system in your country to be a primary tool for subjugation and oppression, and seldom, if ever, a tool for justice, would you work to empower it, or to dis-empower it? It isn't always liberal pricks - frequently it's conservatives from the "wrong" groups.

Obviously, you would work to make it just. That can take generations. In the meantime, you might not be quite so anxious to take the kid gloves off. I'd say that you need a working system before you can go nuts with the punishments. Or maybe not. I'm fuzzy on where the expense of not hanging them all outweighs injustice, for me.

Me? My normal response is "Shoot em". But that's because I know which cases are legitimate.