The Next Time Someone Tells You that Self-Defense isn’t Illegal in the UK,

(for all intents and purposes,) show them this:

Man Who Killed Armed Intruder Jailed Eight Years

A man who stabbed to death an armed intruder at his home was jailed for eight years today.

Carl Lindsay, 25, answered a knock at his door in Salford, Greater Manchester, to find four men armed with a gun.

When the gang tried to rob him he grabbed a samurai sword and stabbed one of them, 37-year-old Stephen Swindells, four times.

Mr Swindells, of Salford, was later found collapsed in an alley and died in hospital.

Lindsay, of Walkden, was found guilty of manslaughter following a three-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.

He was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.

After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Sam Haworth said: “Four men, including the victim, had set out purposefully to rob Carl Lindsay and this intent ultimately led to Stephen Swindells’ death.

“I believe the sentences passed today reflect the severity of the circumstances.”

Three other men were charged with robbery and firearms offences in connection with the incident, which took place in February last year.

Manslaughter. For bringing a sword to a gunfight.

Excuse me, Chief Inspector Haworth, but the victim here was Carl Lindsay, and the other three men should be in jail for homicide in the death of their accomplice. Mr. Lindsay should have received a hearty pat on the back for ridding society of a violent perpetrator.

UPDATE – 3/24/04: Reader Ben D comments:

Just a quick note-there is a follow up story on Moorewatch stating that this may actually have been a drug buy gone bad. The man wielding the sword was apparently a dealer. Not that he should be punished for defending himself (especially not for defending himself with a sword-way to go!), but there may be more nuances here.

I responded:

However, were you a reader of this story – provided without nuance – would you not draw the conclusion that defending yourself against attack is legally risky?

That’s my point – the general public in the UK is actively discouraged from self-defense, in fear of prosecution.

“You can’t protect yourself! You’re not qualified!”

(Added to the original post because comments tend to eventually disappear.)

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