Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has said that knifing a robber in the vitals will no longer be a criminal offence under the law of self-defence in England. Mr Clarke also suggested that using ‘a really sturdy piece of wood with a big nail in it’ should help householders repel burglars and anyone else trespassing on their property.
David Cameron instructed Mr Clarke to put the matter ‘beyond doubt’ and the Justice Secretary has confirmed that homeowners will also be legally entitled to murder Jehovah’s Witnesses, energy company sales people or people who’ve befriended you on holiday and then show up on your doorstep unexpectedly, years later.
He told journalists, people were entitled to use ‘necessary force’ to protect their homes, and that he hoped a wall full of medieval weaponry such as maces, clubs and broadswords would once again become a familiar sight in the nation’s households. ‘Every man’s home is his castle,’ said Mr Clarke, ‘and if he wants arrow slits then that has to be a huge improvement over all that ghastly stone-cladding and satellite dishes.’
He said that self-defence in the home had become an area of doubt, and added: ‘You wake up suddenly and hear a noise. Now, what should you do? Lie there and be murdered in your bed, because you don’t want a costly legal battle over whether you’ve infringed the burglar’s rights? No of course not, what you need to do is grab something solid and batter their face off.’
He went on to say: ‘Should the person you’ve clubbed to death turn out to be an elderly relative returning from the lavatory, who in the darkness resembled a 22-year old hoodie then I think the law should be able to say, oh well never mind, better luck next time.’
Under the terms of the new Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, homeowners who use a nine-iron to rearrange the cranium of a spotty young offender will have no fear of prosecution when they putt his eyes into the back of his skull.
‘It’s a matter of “reasonable force”,’ explained Mr Clarke, ‘and to me it seems perfectly reasonable that the victims of crime should want to bury the hatchet. Assuming of course that they keep the hatchet close at hand.’ Mr Clarke said legal protection would not extend to anyone shooting a burglar in the back when they were fleeing. He said: ‘It’s just not sportsmanlike. Let them arm themselves with a chair leg or something and invite them to come at you. Then you can blast away, safe in the knowledge that it was you or them.’
Mr Clarke said that he was committed to reducing indeterminate prison sentences despite opposition from within his own party. He said one way to do this was to let homeowners ‘off the buggers’ with an assortment of household objects including hammers, pokers and bits pulled off the wardrobe.
Mr Clarke has said he plans to defend his criminal justice agenda in the House, and then produced a large kitchen knife which he began waving indiscriminately.