The recent news of a New South Wales man facing possible charges, for defending his home, brings again to the fore the ridiculous situation of people being charged by police for defending themselves and their property against home invaders.
Azzam Naboulsi, a career criminal, was reported to have been stabbed by Donald Brooke when he was in the process of ransacking Brooke’s home in Yagoona (a suburb just to the west of Bankstown, Punchbowl and Lakemba). Brooke not only bravely defended his home, but also had the compassion to try to help the robber afterwards (neighbours reported hearing Brooke call after the injured Naboulsi “Come back, you’re injured”).
The home-invading criminal had been driven to the scene by overseas student Mohammed Abdul Baseer, who claims he did not know what Naboulsi was up to; he afterwards allegedly drove the wounded criminal to Fairfield East. Naboulsi later died from his wounds and lack of treatment (which he could have received, had he not fled the scene).
Azzam Naboulsi was part of the Lebanese Muslim community, and his funeral was later held at a mosque in Lakemba. He was well known to police and was due to be in court the following week to face a long list of criminal charges for other alleged offences.
How is it that the victim of the robbery ends up facing charges? It is ridiculous for anyone to have to worry about whether they will be charged, and possibly jailed, for defending their own home. The police, prosecutors and courts all have days, weeks and months to argue about what would be “reasonable force” in such a situation, yet the individual victim has to make a split-second decision on how to deal with someone coming at them in the dark, or what to do when they find an armed person ransacking their home. Can lawyers who argue back and forth about legal niceties and “reasonable force” in the safety of a courtroom really have any idea of the reality of coming face to face with a nasty criminal in your home?
How do you use “reasonable force” against two, three or four burglars who have broken into your home? Or even against one hefty thug? The average person cannot manhandle a big burly thug out of their home by themselves, let alone throw out three or four. A lone burglar may be high on drugs, which can make them impervious to pain; a situation which may require a number of persons just to apprehend and then contain him until police arrive. To talk of using “reasonable force” in these situations is ridiculous.
And what if there is a baby in the house, for whose safety the householder is legitimately concerned? Or a teenage girl or young woman, who may be attacked by the sort of home invaders who turn out to be rapists of opportunity?
In these situations it should be lawful for Australians to use any sort of weapon to defend themselves, their families, and their property against any home invaders, whether the criminals are in a gang or acting alone.
The police should not have to concern themselves with questioning whether “reasonable force” was used against home invaders; the only checking they should have to do, in any unclear circumstances, is to establish whether or not the person in question was a home invader or not.
Householders should not have to second-guess themselves as to whether what sort of force they should use against a group of three or four men invading their home; such indecision creates inaction and delays which enable thugs to attack those in the home.
Home invaders should not have the law on their side; if they are prepared to burglarize homes and assault people, then they should be prepared to lose their life. Home invaders steal, ransack, bash and rape people; they deserve to face the consequences of their actions; they do not deserve our sympathy, for that is better given to those who are bashed, raped and traumatized by such low-life thugs.
It is high time that the laws are changed so that everyone has the right to fully protect their homes and families against home invaders.
Katherine Danks, Mark Morri. “Harrowing wait for homeowner who fatally stabbed intruder”, Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2011
“Bystander regrets helping stabbed man”, The Age, 22 September 2011
Clementine Cuneo. “Don’t blame Donald Brooke for stabbing home invader Azzam Naboulsi, community says”, Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2011
Katherine Danks. “Thief Azzam Naboulsi’s dying threat to kill”, Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2011
Paul Kent. “Muslims pray Allah forgives a sinner”, Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2011
Janet Fife-Yeomans. “Defend your own home at your own risk”, Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2011