Richard Osborn-Brooks should not be charged with murder! Unite and change the law!!!
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Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was at his home to be awoken by by two much younger intruders trespassing in his home with the intent to cause damage and theft, and potentially harm to life.
There have been reports (unconfirmed at this stage) of Mr Osborn-Brooks being forced into his kitchen by one of the assailants brandishing a screw driver, whilst the other disappeared upstairs.
Somewhere between the assailants entering the house, and the 00:45 GMT call out to the Metropolitan Police, one of the assailants suffered a fatal upper-body stab wound, and the other fled the scene, his whereabouts still unknown at the time of releasing this petition.
Mr Richard Osborn-Brooks was initially charged with GBH (grevious bodily harm) and later re-charged with murder which isn't sitting well with many at this moment in time.
For those unfamiliar with the British legal system here is a run down of the basics. To be guilty of an offence you have to be guilty of two things; 1. The Actus Reus (the guilty act itself) and 2. The Mens Rea (the guilty mind).
To satisfy the actus reus of murder:
-The defendant did the act or omitted (failed -to act) to do a legally recognised duty.
-The act was deliberate.
-The act was unlawful. (As opposed to killing in self defence).
-The act was a significant cause of death.
To satisfy the mens rea:
- Malice aforethought, meaning:
(a) an intention to kill; or
(b) an intention to cause grievous bodily harm
Now unless Mr Osborn-Brooks knew the two assailants and planned on killing them that night, or had a malicious intent to kill them in general then surely he cannot be convicted of murder regardless of whether his actions caused the death, and this seems an obvious case of self-defence. According to reports, the whole situation was caused solely because the two assailants entered the house without permission causing Mr Osborn-Brooks duress and fear.
According to the CPS (directly quoted from ://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/self-defence-and-prevention-crime):
" ...it is important to ensure that all those acting reasonably and in good faith to defend themselves, their family, their property or in the prevention of crime or the apprehension of offenders are not prosecuted for such action."
The basic principles of self-defence are set out in (Palmer v R,  AC 814); approved in R v McInnes, 55 Cr App R 551:
"It is both good law and good sense that a man who is attacked may defend himself. It is both good law and good sense that he may do, but only do, what is reasonably necessary."
The common law approach as expressed in Palmer v R is also relevant to the application of section 3 Criminal Law Act 1967:
"A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large.""
"A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances for the purposes of:
-defence of another; or
-defence of property; or
-prevention of crime; or
In assessing the reasonableness of the force used, prosecutors should ask two questions:
was the use of force necessary in the circumstances, i.e. Was there a need for any force at all? and
was the force used reasonable in the circumstances?
The courts have indicated that both questions are to answered on the basis of the facts as the accused honestly believed them to be (R v Williams (G) 78 Cr App R 276), (R. v Oatbridge, 94 Cr App R 367).
To that extent it is a subjective test. There is, however, an objective element to the test. The jury must then go on to ask themselves whether, on the basis of the facts as the accused believed them to be, a reasonable person would regard the force used as reasonable or excessive."
I do not believe that Mr Osborn-Brooks would have used any more force than he felt necessary in that sitiation, particularly as he did not put himself in that position, and nor did he contribute to the underlying factors that created the situation. As a reasonable person I (and the majority of the country) would regard the force as reasonable given even just the basic circumstances. He did not want this to happen!
As a 78 year old man (or any age for that matter), being subjected to the fear of that present situation, and the fear of the unknown, it is impossible to state how you should or should not react, or what exact measure you should use to defend yourself. However, it is possible to state that the two assailants should not have been there, they should not have evoked such a reaction, and they should not have burglarized Mr Osborn-Brooks' home in the first place or put themselves or Mr Osborn-Brooks in that situation.
It would also be worth pointing out that had Mr Osborn-Brooks' reaction been so out of touch with reality, then surely the deceased's partner in the crime would have at least stayed around to help save his friends life or volunteered to be a key witness and identify Mr Osborn-Brooks as the cold blooded killer? Instead he ran and hid away from the scene, and left his friend, which indicates their level of blame and culpability.
Many of the residents and locals to the scene of the crime have reported and indicated a high level of burglary and crime in the area prior to the incident, with many installing CCTV and complaining to local councils and authorities of the growing crime rate (particularly in relation to burglary), and the expectation of these crimes. Yet another indication of the imminent fear and hostility experienced by residents and Mr Osborn-Brooks.
This is sending a message to burglars that they are protected and able to carry out such crimes with safety and security, and giving law abiding citizens a fear to protect themselves, their families, and their property. I for one could not say for sure how I would react in such an out of the normal situation, but I can testify that had I been in a situation where myself or my family was in danger then I would use whatever force necessary to prevent harm betroething us.
When you break the law and enter a strangers home without permission, you know exactly the risk that you are taking. Mr Osborne-Brooks did not take a risk, he did not set out to break the law, he went to bed and was then put in an impossible situation through no fault of his own, and he should not be made to suffer the injustice or consequence of another persons illegal actions or mistakes.
Mr Osborne-Brooks is not a cold hearted and premeditating murderer, he is an old age pensioner who was put in a tragic situation through no fault of his own, and defended himself the best way he knew and just as most of us would too. Let's end this injustice and start a new way of thinking, where justice means protecting the law abiding citizens and not those who abuse the law. Mr Osborn-Brooks should be able to recover this horrendous ordeal with his family and loved ones, and not a jail cell door. I would like to see the charges reversed and the real criminals brought to justice, and possibly a change in the law surrounding the stigma of self-defence and burglary. Who knows it might even reduce trespass related crimes in the UK. Please share and sign for change.
**All information above has occurred through research and reports, and is not an admission of facts relating to the investigation, and only what has been reported in the media. I am not in any way involved or a part of the investigation, and to put it crudely I do not have a dog in this race, just an opinion shared by others. I am simply a member of the Great British public with a passion for justice, who feels an injustice is being done and I would like to make positive change where possible.
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