A father and son duo who opened fire on an police van have walked free from court after being cleared of attempted murder.
Richard Baldwin, an expert clay pigeon shooter, shot at an unmarked white van three times using his double-barrelled shotgun after thinking he was scaring off burglars from his property.
However the businessman was actually opened fire on a van which had two plainclothed police officers inside.
Maybe the prosecution aimed too high, and they’d have been more likely to secure a conviction on a lesser charge? I’ve been told that when Plod is on the receiving end of something he doesn’t like the charges are inflated, sometimes comically so. The downside to this is sometimes the charges don’t stick. But:
Both Mr Baldwin and his son were also cleared of an alternative charge of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, and carrying a loaded shotgun in a public place.
Hmmm. Perhaps there is something else going on?
Mr Baldwin, who was cleared of attempted murder along with his son, told The Daily Telegraph that he was ‘harassed’ by Irish travellers for more than a year before he opened fire on the police van.
Luton Crown Court heard Mr Baldwin had become increasingly angry after police took 25 minutes to respond to his pleas for help.
Mr Baldwin took his legally-owned weapon and take matters into their own hand to track the suspected burglars.
Mr Baldwin made a number of calls to police regarding harassment of his family from the travelling community, but he claims they were ignored. An officer also told him not to use racially offensive terms when referring to travellers.
He claims that tyres and tools were stolen from Mr Baldwin’s garage and that he had never had problems with the travelling community until this group of people began to abuse him and his family.
Could it be the jury decided to signal its displeasure at useless Plod refusing to do their jobs, yet finding time to lecture the victims of crime on racism? I hope so. I’ve been saying for a while the British public ought to begin withdrawing their support from the police; jury nullification in cases where the defendant should never have been in that position were it not for useless Plod is one way to go about it.