The meaning behind Chris Grayling's reforms

The current law on householders and the criminal law of self defence states;

A householder who confronts and kills an intruder may be liable to a charge of murder or manslaughter. If the intruder is only injured, the householder could face charges such as assault, wounding or even attempted murder. However, the householder has a complete defence (and will therefore be acquitted) if the force he used was reasonable and was exercised either in self defence, defence of another, defence of his property, or in the prevention of crime.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is to change the law 'at the first opportunity' to give stronger legal safeguards to those who use force to protect their family or property.

He will propose;

Someone who is confronted by a burglar and has reason to fear for their safety, or the safety of their family, and in the heat of the moment uses force that is reasonable in the circumstances but in the cold light of day seems disproportionate they will not be guilty of an offence.

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Burglary laws for householders

Homeowners who use force against burglars will get more protection under Government plans, unless they use "grossly disproportionate" violence, the new Justice Secretary Chris Grayling will say today.