Peter Kyte QC

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Peter Kyte QC: Notable case

R v Hastings (2002)

Peter Kyte QC prosecuted a householder who stabbed a burglar.

BBC news
Thursday, 29 August, 2002
Burglar stabbed to death during break-in

A burglar was stabbed to death by a young father when he was caught breaking into the family home, a court heard.

Career burglar Roger Williams, 35, died after being stabbed 12 times in the back by Barry-Lee Hastings in Tottenham, north London, the Old Bailey heard on Thursday.

Mr Hastings, who denies murder, had gone to visit his estranged wife and their two young children on 28 January.

The court heard that the lights were off but he saw a man inside the flat and noticed the door had been jemmied open.

Prosecutor Peter Kyte QC said Mr Hastings "became deeply alarmed as he had heard talking and thought a voice could have been his young daughter."

He told the court that Mr Hastings armed himself with a kitchen knife and "meted out his own form of punishment" by stabbing Williams in the back.

The court heard that Mr Hastings, 25, later told police the man had run at him holding something that, in the dark room, looked like a machete.

He allegedly told police: "He just attacked me and we started to fight.

"The next thing we are outside and I am standing looking at the guy and he said `Let me go?'

"I stepped back and he went out of the gate. I was frightened for my wife."

But Mr Kyte said police found little traces of blood inside the house and Mr Hastings's injuries were trivial compared to the burglar's wounds.

'Bad hat'

Williams, also from Tottenham, had many convictions, including violence, and was on the run from police when he burgled the flat, the court heard.

But Mr Kyte told the jury: "The law recognises a man is entitled to defend himself, his family and his property - only if his action does not go beyond the reasonable and the necessary.

"There is no doubt Mr Hastings stumbled across a burglary. There is no doubt that Roger Williams was a thoroughly bad hat in the eyes of the law.

"But nonetheless, as a human being he is just as entitled to the freedom to live as anyone else.

"We argue that in this case, alas, this man overstepped the mark and went some distance beyond that."

Notable cases:

R -v- Head (2014)
Successful prosecution of a man charged with murder

R -v- Maslovas (2013)
Successful Prosecution of a man charged with murder.

R v Teodoresc & Corbu (2011)
Vicious 2 Handed Murder

R v James (2010)
Gangland Shooting

R v Jeffrey (2009)
Elaborate Fraud by Financial Director

R v Sargeant & others (2006)
'Happy slap' gang - Murder Acquittal

Building Fraud (2004)
Building Fraud - 16 month trial

R v Hastings (2002)
Burglar stabbed to death during break-in

R v McCrea (2002)
NHS Fraud by Professional Optician

R v Dass (2002)
Customs & Excise - Employee Fraud

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