'Reasonable force' campaigner

The mother of a man who was accused of murder after stabbing a teenage burglar has travelled to London to campaign for a change to the law.

Mr Roberts was confronted by two teenage burglars when he arrived at his mother's house in Basford for a lunch break in March 2009.

Some of you may remember that charges against Omari Roberts from Nottingham, who was confronted by 17-year-old Tyler Juett during a break-in, were dropped in April 2010.

Omari's mother Jacqueline McKenzie-Johnson travelled to London to present the petition in which she is calling for a change in the law.

Omari had picked up a kitchen knife to defend himself and had fatally wounded Juett and injured his 14-year-old accomplice.  The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) charged Mr Roberts with murder and for offences in respect of the attack on the younger burglar.  These charges were later dropped.

Jacqueline McKenzie-Johnson has been reported as stating: "I think that the current legislation expecting occupants to use reasonable force is confusing and it's a very woolly area.

"We should not be using the words 'reasonable force'. It is an unreasonable situation so why are we expected to behave reasonably?

"There needs to be more support for occupants and home-owners and the law should be more weighted on their side."

The arguments surround what amounts to reasonable force in such cases.  The law at present allows the use of reasonable force to defend oneself or another or when defending property or preventing crime.

The question is will the present coalition government take the opportunity to change the law now that they are in power?

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