You pop home for a bite to eat and notice the patio window is smashed and there are burglars still ransacking the place. Not a good situation. But in essence this is what faced an apprentice builder, Omari Roberts, just over a year ago in Nottingham. Tragically it ended with one burglar being stabbed in an altercation, the wounds from which were sufficient to lead to his death. The question is was it self defence, assault or murder?
The other burglar, who also suffered injuries, told lies in his statement which resulted in the builder being charged with GBH and murder, seven months after the incident. Denying the charges the case took a year to go to trial but on the opening day the prosecution dropped the case because new evidence came to light. It seems that the police went to re-interview the accomplice/witness who then told them a completely different story as he was unable to remember the lies he’d told them in the first place.
On the face of it this case has similarities with that of the two Hussein brothers who were jailed for beating a burglar after a raid. The main difference is that the accused in this instance, Omari Roberts, did not chase the burglar down the road. Rather he was attacked in his mothers home and, as his lawyer said
He had no option but to defend himself. Everything happened in a split second. He’d just returned to his mum’s house for a little bit to eat and found himself in a terrible position
Omari was put in a position in which he was fighting for his life. He had no option but to defend himself – he was in a struggle for his life and this could happen to any one of us.
This case has again highlighted the issue of home owner’s right to defend their property and self defence in general. In this instance, in my opinion, the law of using ‘reasonable force’ has been adequate. While Roberts had to go through the hassle of being on restrictive bail and the ordeal of being charged with murder at least, eventually, the charges were dropped and he has been exonerated.
While the CPS do seem to have been overzealous in this instance, the real shame is that a 17 year old boy has lost his life while taking pert in a very stupid crime.That aside, the CPS took the word of the accomplice who was at best a dodgy witness and a well known criminal, it seems strange that they took his word against that of a young man who had enver been in trouble before. To charge him with murder and wounding with intent is a bit rich, seeing as it was after all nothing more than one word against another. I’m no legal expert but I can’t see that there was ever a case.
For me the Law worked, eventually, the problem is with the CPS which seems to have been erroneous in taking the case in the first place. If there needs to be any investigation it needs to involve this decision.