Last Thursday (12th of May), the Channel 4 programme “24 Hours in Police Custody” covered the tragic case of a gentleman who was killed by a single punch outside a night club. The coverage of how the police investigated the event has relevance to many of the topics discussed here. In particular, pre-emptive striking and what is self-defence and what is not.
Spoiler Alert: The person who delivered the strike initially gave a version of events to police which were entirely consistent with UK self-defence law (and the police were sympathetic with it at first) … However, CCTV footage and the testimony of eye-witnesses unravelled that version of events and saw him charged with, and subsequently prosecuted for, manslaughter. It was not self-defence.
One person dead and one with a serious prison sentence (and the death of another person on his conscious?) because of one punch thrown in anger. The law gives us the right to defend ourselves, it does not give us the right to “settle scores” and fight in the street. The program underlines the fact that violence has very severe consequences and that they only time we should act physically is when there is truly no other option.
Those in the UK can watch the show online for the next seven days. Well worth a watch:
All the best,