Self-defence intruder ordeal

Vincent Cooke tell ITV1's Tonight programme how he was marched around his home at knife point by burglars. One of the intruders was killed, and Vincent was arrested on suspicion of murder.

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Grayling: Self-defence against intruders 'important issue'

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the "Tonight" programme that clarifying the law on self-defence against intruders is "an important issue".

Being confronted by an intruder in your own home is terrifying, which is why the public should be in no doubt that the law is on their side.

We have already taken steps to clarify the law in this area but this is an important issue; one I have taken a keen interest in and am looking into further, as a matter of urgency.

– Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

"Tonight - In Self-Defense" will air tonight at 7.30pm on ITV1.

Judge tells intruders being shot is 'chance you take'

In a separate case, a senior judge told two intruders shot by a homeowner that being shot was the "chance you take" for breaking into a house where the householder owns a gun.

Joshua O'Gorman (left) and Daniel Mansell Credit: Leicestershire Police/PA Wire

Joshua O'Gorman and Daniel Mansell were shot with a legally-owned shotgun in the early hours of 2nd September after breaking into Andy Ferrie's cottage in Welby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

O'Gorman was shot in the face and Mansell was hit in his right hand.

When sentencing the pair at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Michael Pert QC said, "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," he added.

O'Gorman and Mansell pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to four years in jail.


Self-defence intruder family issue thank you

The Cooke family have released a statement thanking those who have supported them since intruders broke into their home last September.

Over the last 12 months, we have received a great deal of support from family, friends, neighbours and local residents, and also from the wider community.

Many people have taken the time to send us letters and cards offering their best wishes and words of kindness. Support such as this has helped us greatly.

It is heartwarming to know that so many people care.

This ordeal has put a tremendous strain on us in may ways, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to you all as we begin to rebuild our lives.


Vincent, Karen & Anthony Cooke

Poll: 48% feel any level of force should be allowed against intruder

A poll by research firm ComRes for the "Tonight" programme has found that 48% of people believe they should be able to use any level of force if they find an intruder in their home.

Of those people questioned:

  • 48% said they should be able to use any level of force.
  • 47% felt they should be allowed to use reasonable force.
  • 2% said no force should be used by individual householders.
  • 4% Did not know.

ComRes interviewed 2,102 adults online from 7-9 September.

For more on this story watch "Tonight - In Self-Defence," at 7:30pm tonight on ITV1.


Poll: 50% of homeowners confused over self-defence law

Under existing law, UK homeowners have the right to defend themselves and their property with reasonable force.

But a poll carried out for the "Tonight" programme by research firm ComRes found that half of those asked are still confused about what "reasonable force" means.

When questioned about their understanding of the current law on the action a homeowner is allowed to take against intruders:

  • 50% said they were "a little confused" about the law.
  • 39% generally understood the law and the extent of force they can use.
  • 11% said they did not understand the law at all.

ComRes interviewed 2,102 adults online from 7-9 September.

For more on this story watch "Tonight - In Self-Defence," at 7:30pm tonight on ITV1.

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