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No place for vigilantes

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

Judge Gilbert, who takes  a dim view of vigilantism

Judge Gilbert, who takes a dim view of vigilantism

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OF COURSE, there is a limit to the DIY approach, as illustrated by the two court cases reported in last week's paper.

In one, a 45-year-old man was given a suspended jail sentence after punching an 18-year-old neighbour in the face because he believed he had supplied his sons with drugs.

Judge Erik Salomonsen told the defendant: "You need to understand there can be no justification for violence of this sort."

In the other case, a farmer was ordered to pay a fine, compensation and costs of more than £2,000 after clubbing a young farm labourer around the head because he falsely believed he had stolen two quad bikes. Judge Francis Gilbert said: "This was disgraceful and stupid conduct."

Both men had real grievances, but took it upon themselves to seek justice, when they should have left that to the police.

Imagine if we lived in a society where violence was the response of anyone with a grievance. It would be like the Wild West, or life in a war zone.

Surely nobody wants to live in a world like that? Isn't that why we have laws, and the police, so that there's something between us and the kind of vigilante action which sees disputes settled with fists and weapons?

Read more from Tiverton Mid Devon Gazette

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  • vulcan  |  December 04 2012, 4:46PM

    We may have laws but we also have a pathetic legal system which too often fails victims of crime.

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