Stay Away from the Police

|

Paul Clarke thought he was doing the right thing by taking a "shorn-off shotgun" he'd found to the police. He forgot that he lives in England. The police immediately arrested him for possession of a firearm. At trial, prosecutor Brian Stalk explained that possession is a "strict liability" charge, meaning that Clarke's good intentions were irrelevant. The jury found him guilty, and the ex-soldier faces a minimum of five years in prison.

NEXT: Ron Paul's Fed Audit Bill Passes House Financial Services Committee

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. According to the thisissurreytoday website where the story is posted, Comments on this story have been disabled for legal reasons. For me, that makes a run-of-the-mill “state authority run amok” news clip just priceless.

  2. Classy, like arresting a mugging victim for littering for bleeding on the ground.

    1. More like for dropping their keys or some change or something.

  3. The jurors should all be executed for felony douchebaggery. Prosecutor and judge, well, goes without saying, right?

  4. The sad thing is if he had called the police when he found it in his back yard, I’m betting they would have charged him with the same offense. After all once it was thrown in his back yard, he was pretty much in possession of it.

    I think this has the makings of a great reality TV show. The producers would simply throw a gun in somebody’s yard. Then they would tape the midnight shenanigans that go on as everyone tries to pass the hot potato on.

    The winner would be the one who slipped it to the prosecutor and got him busted for this idiocy.

    1. In Britain’s ages past, when a murdered corpse was found a whole bunch of inane rules went into effect, including various taxes and confiscations. Which led to a not uncommon act of villagers secretly dumping discovered corpses in the next village over.

  5. The sad thing is if he had called the police when he found it in his back yard, I’m betting they would have charged him with the same offense. After all once it was thrown in his back yard, he was pretty much in possession of it.

    I think this has the makings of a great reality TV show. The producers would simply throw a gun in somebody’s yard. Then they would tape the midnight shenanigans that go on as everyone tries to pass the hot potato on.

    The winner would be the one who slipped it to the prosecutor and got him busted for this idiocy.

  6. He was set up. He won a case against a lying official in court last year and they’re getting their revenge now.

    No matter what he did or didn’t do with the gun, he was going to be arrested.

    http://www.thisissurreytoday.c…..ticle.html

    1. Yep, it sounds like the local officials are getting some payback, after Clarke made one of their revenue collectors look bad in court the year before.

  7. 1984.

    It’s a warning, not an instruction manual.

  8. “If you haven’t done anything wrong you don’t have anything to worry about.” v.6,302.

  9. The guy got what he had coming to him. What kind of moran trusts fuzz?

  10. Doesn’t the law in England require mens rea? The man had no intention of harming anyone, and was doing what he believed to be the right thing.

    -jcr

    1. Sorry, “strict liability” trumps mens rea.

  11. Zero Tolerance is an easy policy for authorities. They don’t have to think.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.