PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: letters@swindonadvertiser.co.uk. Write: Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon, SN1 3BE. Phone: 01793 501806.

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Criminal behaviour?

Letters Mon 9th April: Taking the Wrong Side / Our Right To Defend

Reading these two letters reminded me of a couple of amusing conversations I had many years ago with people who had come up against some unsavoury characters. 

The first was with a mature gentleman who had gone to the rescue of a pensioner who was “getting rolled over by two thugs”. He explained that during the tussle that ensued one of the thugs sustained a broken arm. Rather aggrieved at coming off worst the thug had gone whingeing to the police and wanted to press charges.

A police officer turned up at the gentleman’s door briefly explaining the purpose of his visit.

The gentleman put it to the police officer that should the matter go to court the defence of “volente non fit injuria” would apply. What does that mean enquired the officer? The gentleman responded “more or less it means he who knowingly commits the crime knowingly risks the consequences. It’s a bit like a boxer entering the ring. He knows he’s likely to get hurt.”

The officer’s response was: “Do you mind if I ask what you do for a living sir?”

“Not at all,” came the reply. “I’m a barrister.”

The officer touched his hat before leaving, saying: “Well we will leave it at that then, shall we sir?”

The second occasion I heard a similar tale was from the owner of a well known Indian restaurant. I’d turned up for an evening meal with a friend and noted one of the waiters had his hand bandaged.

The restaurant owner explained that the evening before several lager louts had turned up at closing time looking for trouble.

“Oh what happened?” we asked.

“We locked them in and put two of them in hospital,” came the cheerful reply.

It turned out the offenders did not think it fair that they had come off worst and made complaints to the police inferring a wish that they would like to press charges.

The tale continued that, once the officers heard what had happened they left confident that all matters were under control and the restaurant owner might like to keep up the good work in the community.

Both tales proved that the people believe they have a right of defence and hopefully the offenders learned a lesson from it.

J Lewis, Gorse Hill, Swindon

Don’t bomb Syria

Most people in Britain do not want war with Russia. A full blown nuclear war would probably kill at least half the population of the world.

The tricky constitutional question arises as to whether Theresa May has the right to start a conflict with Russia without a vote of approval by the British parliament.

David Cameron asked the British parliament to approve an attack on Syria and Bashar al-Assad in 2013 and parliament rejected his request.

War should always be a last resort to defend Britain. The civil war in Syria is devastating for the people living in that area but Bashar al-Assad is not actually a clear and present danger to Britain.

If we decided to attack Syria over the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war it could not strictly be described as defending Britain.

Looking back at the horrors of WWI and WW2 it would seem sensible that parliament’s approval should be required before starting WW3.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

We knew the score

How many older readers like myself I wonder remember the days when the Adver office used to put a card in the window, giving results of Swindon Town games, back in the day when midweek games were played during afternoons?

One lasting memory of mine is cycling up Vic hill in September 1951 aged 15 and en route to my evening class, to read Watford 1 Swindon Town 7. Amazingly I believe that is still their record post-war away score.

Rodney J M Wirdnam, Whilestone Way, Swindon

Letters

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