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Police couple self defense mechanism questioned. What is the legal implication?

13 August 2015 5:41 PM
A husband and wife, both police officers, shot and wounded suspected robbers who gained unauthorized access into their home.

An article on IOL news about a police couple who almost got robbed at their Kibler Park home left some of our listeners questioning the criminal law of this country.

A man who is identified only as Stuart wrote to John Maytham wanting to know the legal implications of the incident reported by IOL News.

He writes: I am not a firearm owner but I thought that it was illegal to shoot at a would-be criminal who is fleeing your property. Perhaps it is only illegal to shoot and kill? Difficult to guarantee as one never knows whether a vital organ or artery might be struck by the bullet.

Whilst I'm tempted to believe that the robbers probably got what they deserved and am relieved that couple got through unscathed, I'd just be interested to know what the legal standpoint is.

Thanks very much

CapeTalks John Maytham spoke to Prof. James Grant, Criminal lawyer:

The law basically is whether or not the defense mechanism was justified, it is within the act. They were unlawfully on a property … even when they got injured while in a retreating method it is not necessarily unlawful

James Grant, Criminal lawyer

Listen to the full conversation on The John Maytham Show:

13 August 2015 5:41 PM