Accidental Shooting, was the verdict right? Watch

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dave134
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#1
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/b...ts/3602412.stm

A man has just been cleared of causing Grievious Bodily Harm, after shooting somebody in the chest, destroying his lung, and leaving him in intensive care for 2 days.

The victim was a wildlife journalist, out gathering data on Barn Owls, and the shooter mistook his night-vision goggles for fox-eyes, and fired 1 round hitting him in the chest.

The prosecution argued that as he could not have determined that the eyes were definitely those of a fox, he should not have fired. He argued that he was convinced they were a fox , and emphasised how he immediately sought medical assistance for the victim.

The victim is considering suing the shooter.

Should the shooter be guilty of a criminal offence?
Should the victim be eligible for compensation from the shooter?

What does this incident say about gun-laws in the UK?
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A0307
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I agree with the verdict. Sounds like he made an honest mistake, the man who was shot was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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dave134
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(Original post by calumc)
I agree with the verdict. Sounds like he made an honest mistake, the man who was shot was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What about compensation? I would be fairly pissed off if I was shot by someone thinking I was a fox!
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Howard
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(Original post by dave134)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/b...ts/3602412.stm

A man has just been cleared of causing Grievious Bodily Harm, after shooting somebody in the chest, destroying his lung, and leaving him in intensive care for 2 days.

The victim was a wildlife journalist, out gathering data on Barn Owls, and the shooter mistook his night-vision goggles for fox-eyes, and fired 1 round hitting him in the chest.

The prosecution argued that as he could not have determined that the eyes were definitely those of a fox, he should not have fired. He argued that he was convinced they were a fox , and emphasised how he immediately sought medical assistance for the victim.

The victim is considering suing the shooter.

Should the shooter be guilty of a criminal offence?
Should the victim be eligible for compensation from the shooter?

What does this incident say about gun-laws in the UK?
He cannot be guilty of a crime. Any crime requires (except strict liability offences of which this is not an example) requires that the prosecution establish "actus reus" (a bad act) and "mens rea" (knowledge of that bad act)

Here we have a bad act......the guy shot someone but not mens rea.......he didn't do it knowingly with malice aforethought.

So, there is no crime.

The injured could however sue for negligence in the civil courts although the guy who shot him would probably try to advance the partial defence of contributory negligence.
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A0307
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(Original post by dave134)
What about compensation? I would be fairly pissed off if I was shot by someone thinking I was a fox!
But likewise, I'd probably **** myself if I accidently shot a person thinking it was a fox! It won't have been a very pleasant experience for the accused either!
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dave134
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(Original post by calumc)
But likewise, I'd probably **** myself if I accidently shot a person thinking it was a fox! It won't have been a very pleasant experience for the accused either!
True! very true!

If the "victim" had been trespassing, then I would very strongly say that it was his fault, but he was on a public footpath. It just worries me that accidents like this can happen.
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Howard
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(Original post by dave134)
True! very true!

If the "victim" had been trespassing, then I would very strongly say that it was his fault, but he was on a public footpath. It just worries me that accidents like this can happen.
It shouldn't worry you that much. Gun accidents in the UK are rarer than rocking horse ****.
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Bezza
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I'm completely shocked by this verdict - he fired at something in the dark when he didn't even know what it was. He's gone against the guidelines from the British Association of Shooting and Conservation regarding night shooting - you shouldn't fire when you can only see what you believe to be an animals eyes, you should wait until you're sure that you can see the outline of their body too. I really don't understand how they could find him not guilty under these circumstances - he obviously didn't take the necessary precautions, and as a result of his negligence he nearly killed a man.
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Howard
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(Original post by Bezza)
I'm completely shocked by this verdict - he fired at something in the dark when he didn't even know what it was. He's gone against the guidelines from the British Association of Shooting and Conservation regarding night shooting - you shouldn't fire when you can only see what you believe to be an animals eyes, you should wait until you're sure that you can see the outline of their body too. I really don't understand how they could find him not guilty under these circumstances - he obviously didn't take the necessary precautions, and as a result of his negligence he nearly killed a man.
They can't find him guilty of a crime for the legal reasons I posted in #4.
Not following guidelines isn't a crime. Neither is negligence.
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Carl
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It seems then that civil action would in this case be appropriate. Being shot, whether accidentally or not, is neither pleasant nor convenient. I agree entirely that a prosecution would be inappropriate.
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material breach
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how can you be prosecuted if you do not know what you have done is wrong
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MC
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(Original post by Incomplete)
how can you be prosecuted if you do not know what you have done is wrong
Random shooting, regardless of circumstance, are wrong.
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Howard
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(Original post by Incomplete)
how can you be prosecuted if you do not know what you have done is wrong
You can for strict liability offences.

Imagine you come from the US where turning right on a red light is legal. You then come on vacation to the UK, hire a car, and do the same (except in reversew - ie turn left on red)

You are stopped by the police. Can you say "sorry officer I didn't know that was a prohibited manouevre?"

No, you can't because "ignorantia legis neminem excusat"
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Carl
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(Original post by Howard)
No, you can't because "ignorantia legis neminem excusat"
That's no way to talk about a disadvantaged young white rapper....
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NDGAARONDI
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(Original post by Incomplete)
how can you be prosecuted if you do not know what you have done is wrong
Ignorance of the law is no excuse, as they say
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A0307
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(Original post by NDGAARONDI)
Ignorance of the law is no excuse, as they say
Doesn't really apply here. I'm sure the man knew that shooting someone was wrong, he just wasn't aware that he did it until after it had happened.
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Howard
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(Original post by carldaman)
That's no way to talk about a disadvantaged young white rapper....
Very good!
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Vienna
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(Original post by dave134)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/b...ts/3602412.stm

A man has just been cleared of causing Grievious Bodily Harm, after shooting somebody in the chest, destroying his lung, and leaving him in intensive care for 2 days.

The victim was a wildlife journalist, out gathering data on Barn Owls, and the shooter mistook his night-vision goggles for fox-eyes, and fired 1 round hitting him in the chest.

The prosecution argued that as he could not have determined that the eyes were definitely those of a fox, he should not have fired. He argued that he was convinced they were a fox , and emphasised how he immediately sought medical assistance for the victim.

The victim is considering suing the shooter.

Should the shooter be guilty of a criminal offence?
Should the victim be eligible for compensation from the shooter?

What does this incident say about gun-laws in the UK?
The verdict was right. A rich blend of legal principle and good British common sense.
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NDGAARONDI
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(Original post by calumc)
Doesn't really apply here. I'm sure the man knew that shooting someone was wrong, he just wasn't aware that he did it until after it had happened.
Mistake is often a defence, mistaken about the facts not the law (though there is not always the case - statutory instruments).
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material breach
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(Original post by NDGAARONDI)
Ignorance of the law is no excuse, as they say
this is hardly ignorance tho, there is not knowing because you have not made the effort and not knowing because it was not possible to know
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