The case of the businessman and his brother who have been jailed for excessive use of violence after managing to fight off three knife wielding thugs has made many front pages today. Many people are calling this a miscarriage of justice or saying that they should never have been arrested or put on trial in the first place.

In returning to their home in High Wycombe from their mosque during Ramadan, the Hussain family were confronted by three men in balaclavas armed with knives. They were tied up and told that they would be killed. 53 year old Hussain threw a coffee table at the attackers and one of his teenage sons managed to escape. He then located Hussain’s brother, 35 year old Tokeer. By the time they returned to the vicinity the gang, realising the game was up, were making their escape. Hussain, Tokeer and two other unnamed men chased them down the street. They managed to catch one, Walid Salem, and subjected him to a vicious beating with a cricket bat, hockey stick and a metal pole.

The attack left the 56 year old Salem, who has more than 50 past convictions, with permanent brain injury and he has subsequently been unable to appear in court.

The other two members of Salem’s gang have not been caught and Salem was given a 2 year supervision order.

The judge praised Hussain for managing to beat off the attackers in his home. But went on to say that the subsequent attack on Salem went well beyond what the law allowed so could not let this part of the act go unpunished. “If persons were permitted to take the law into their own hands and inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are the hallmarks of a civilised society, would collapse.” He said.

So Hussain was put inside for 30 months and his brother sent down for 39 months as he had not been subjected to the initial burglary so should have been able to more easily control his emotions.

Judge John Reddihough I’m afraid, got this totally round the wrong way. It is because the rule of law and order does not serve the ordinary person in the street that this attack ever happened in the first place. Salem has a string of convictions and was awaiting trial for credit card fraud. If he had been languishing in his rightful place, a prison cell, he would not have been free to perpetrate this crime.

The other two criminals have not been caught, so if Hussain and Tokeer had not caught Salem I would bet that some other family would have been subjected to the same ordeal, probably later on in the same day.

Even if caught I wonder if the gang of three would have got more than a community punishment anyway.

That is why people will take the law into their own hands, because the system that is meant to do it for them either can’t or won’t.

The Criminal Justice System once again fails the victims.

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