Author Topic: Justice  (Read 2443 times)

rdak

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Justice
« on: January 30, 2004, 15:47:23 »
In today's Telegraph.

Copyright Telegraph Newspaper etc. etc.

Quote
Victory for allotment vigilante
(Filed: 30/01/2004)


An actor who made a citizen's arrest armed with a pitchfork has accused the police of persecution, reports Nick Britten


A Shakespearian actor charged with assault after frogmarching a suspected vandal to a police station accused the authorities of "persecuting" him yesterday after he was cleared by a jury.

Glen Kinch, 42, demanded clarification of the law regarding citizen's arrests after ending up in court himself.

 
Glen Kinch
He said: "The aftermath of making a lawful citizen's arrest has dominated my life these past seven months. I was falsely accused of vigilantism and even sadism.

"The Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police recently appealed to the public to help police by making citizen's arrests. He said, 'Have the confidence to go for offenders. You will not be charged or cautioned'. I wonder if he will eat his words now."

Mr Kinch, who once played a policeman in the television soap Emmerdale, acted after catching a group of youths on his allotment in Sneinton, Notts.

Having suffered six years of burglaries and vandalism, he decided to approach them and, as they scattered, apprehended 16-year-old Derry McFarlane, who was carrying a hammer. Holding a pitchfork to his back, he forced McFarlane to walk the 800 yards to a police station, making him crawl on his hands and knees some of the way to prevent the teenager turning on him. He also threatened McFarlane and said he had been waiting "six years for this".

McFarlane was arrested on suspicion of vandalism but Mr Kinch was astonished to find himself arrested and charged with assault after superficial puncture marks were found on the youth's back.

Prosecutors said that his citizen's arrest had exceeded reasonable force. At his trial, he told Nottingham Crown Court that he never intended to hurt McFarlane, who was bigger and stronger than him, but was acting out a part from a play he had appeared in called Good Lads at Heart, in which misbehaving boys were made to crawl by their headmaster.

He said appearing tough was the only way to get the better of the teenager. "The last person I hit was my best friend when I was seven. I decided to make McFarlane crawl because he was tall and fit. There was no way he would have come quietly if I had said, 'Now, now, my young lad, you're coming to the police station'. I would have been flattened."

Mr Kinch said he and his fellow allotment holders had been reduced to tears by vandals, adding: "I felt if I caught one of the youths, this would change."

After the jury decided he had acted within his rights, Judge Simon Hammond told Mr Kinch: "You are free to leave with your good character intact."

Mr Kinch, a philosophy graduate who has appeared in 13 professional stage productions and three television shows, urged the authorities to clear up the law over citizen's arrests and for prosecutors to use common sense.

He said: "I'm pleased that the jury was able to understand the difference between behaving recklessly and acting with reasonable force. That is what this case was all about. I would make another citizen's arrest in the same situation."

The actor's parents, Brian, 77, a former advertising copywriter, and Jeanette, 73, a retired schoolteacher, had attended every day of the four-day trial.

Mr Kinch snr said: "The jury has proved what I have always known - that I have a son who is incapable of unprovoked violence."

Mrs Kinch added: "He didn't deserve any of this ordeal. He is the most gentle of men."

Mr Kinch said that he had been unable to work for the past nine months because he could not tour with the theatre.

McFarlane was cautioned after his arrest on suspicion of vandalism but has never been charged.

Last night he said: "I was cutting through the allotments when this man caught me and made me crawl a quarter of a mile on my hands and knees. Every time I turned my head to stand up I got stabbed with the garden fork. He did not use reasonable force."

His stepmother, Angela, said: "I am angry and disappointed. All through this case Derry has been described as a thug and a lout, which is everything he is not. He's a hard-working boy.

"I think Derry has been let down by the legal system. Derry is the victim, not Mr Kinch."
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

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Justice
« on: January 30, 2004, 15:47:23 »

gavin

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Re: Justice
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2004, 16:27:44 »
What makes me think this may not be the end of it?  What will the site be like this spring, when the Derries, friends and relations come back?

Justice?  Hang on a minute while I clean the coffee and biscuit off my screen ...........................

All best, Gavin

« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

Ceri

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Re: Justice
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2004, 16:32:03 »
Brilliant, I'd read the case in the S Telegraph, but didn't see the outcome - pitchforks at the ready boys and girls.  I think we award the gentleman the "freedom of the allotment" order (a small pitchfork shaped lapel badge) for services to runner beans.

Gavin may be right though, this one could run and run. I love the 'I was just cutting through the allotments' quote from the lad - perhaps he and his mates were going to use the hammer to bang in some fences for the lotties.  How community minded
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »