Monday, January 07, 2013

Hateful British police harass the victim again

Thief who drove van at farmer let off with £100 fine: But victim forced to defend himself with shotgun suffers police ordeal lasting months

A farmer accused of attempted murder after catching an intruder red-handed spoke of his outrage last night after the thief walked free with a £100 fine.

Unemployed criminal David Taylor was captured when Bill Edwards confronted him on his isolated woodland property.

Mr Edwards, 21, fired his shotgun at a van driven by Taylor as the thief accelerated towards his mother, Louisa Smith, 50.

Taylor was caught after a high-speed chase but it was the farmer who endured a horrendous ordeal at the hands of police who arrested him on suspicion of attempted murder.

Last night Mr Edwards labelled the experience ‘four months of hell’ and attacked the ‘pathetic’ punishment handed out to the intruder.

The former public schoolboy said: ‘It’s completely changed my view of the police. They treated me like a criminal. The police have acted like bullies who have turned someone who was very supportive of their work into someone who wants nothing more to do with them. They can’t protect the public but don’t allow the public to protect themselves.’

Speaking about the sentence, he added: ‘It is hard to find words to describe how ridiculous the sentence is. I’m absolutely disgusted.

‘We have had four months of being treated like criminals only to see the real criminal let off with a measly fine which will be paid for by the taxpayer since he is on state benefits.’

Mr Edwards and his mother feared for their lives during the confrontation on their land on the outskirts of Scarborough, North Yorkshire, last August. It reignited the controversy over how householders can protect their families after a Leicestershire couple were told they would not be prosecuted for shooting at burglars.

Mr Edwards said his family has lost thousands of pounds through theft and damage caused in a number of raids on their land.

They caught Taylor and an accomplice loading stolen metal cables into the back of his Ford Transit after spotting that outbuildings had been tampered with. The thieves jumped into the van and drove it towards the pair as they desperately dialled 999 for help.

Mr Edwards fired his shotgun, which was loaded with lightweight rabbit shot, several times, hitting the van’s windscreen and bodywork. No one was hurt. Police eventually caught Taylor when Mr Edwards gave chase and gave a running commentary on his mobile phone. But the crook was only charged with metal theft.

Meanwhile Mr Edwards and his mother were arrested, held overnight in cells and left on bail for four months. Mrs Smith was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent.

It is believed police have a recording of the 999 call in which the shots can be heard as Mrs Smith shouts: ‘He is trying to kill us, shoot his tyres.’

But even now the farmer has not had his shotgun and other weapons returned to him which he uses to control pests on his land and as a hobby. Scarborough magistrate Mike Dineen fined Taylor £100 and ordered him to pay £34.99 for damage caused to the farm gate and padlock when he rammed through it to escape.

Taylor left court grinning and sneered ‘lucky you’ at Mr Edwards after finding out the attempted murder allegation had been dropped.

Moments earlier his solicitor Ian Brickman said the thief ‘is in many ways the victim in this’ and was left so ‘traumatised’ he cannot work.

Outside court, Bill’s father Garry Edwards, 67, said the case has been a ‘complete nightmare’. He said: ‘They were victims of a deadly attack and yet some of the police officers treated them as criminals. ‘My son did the absolute minimum needed to stop his mother being seriously hurt or killed.’

Taylor, of Scarborough, admitted theft by finding on August 26. The haul included an electric saw, a mountain bike and furniture as well as scrap metal and wiring. He agreed to pay his total court bill of £234.99 including costs at £10 a fortnight.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said no further action will be taken against Mr Edwards or his mother.

Original report here

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