Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So was it a crime before?

The case of Jimmy Mason raises a very basic question.

Mason apparently flicked his son's ear and punched him. Would that have been "reasonable force as correction" before smacking was banned? Punching a 4 year old hardly seems to be reasonable.

I'd have thought the charges related to pushing over the bikes of a 4 year old and a 2 year old while they are riding them also would not be "reasonable force" (though he was found not guilty of such actions as the details and description are not clear).

The case was brought as a bystander observed Mason "disciplining" his son in a public place.

The point being this. What did the abolition of the defence of reasonable force as correction do to this case? I'm no fan of smacking - but it appears on the face of it that had the law not been changed, Mason could still have been facing charges.

Or was it just that the Police wouldn't have bothered before?

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