Laws: Quaint

Story on the BBC about a pair of squatters – nothing unusual except the offences for which they were charged and convicted:

  1. illegally extracting electricity from the property
  2. unlawfully being in closed premises.

Isn’t English Law quaint at times ?
Take the first one – why didn’t they just say “Theft of electricity” ? The language used in that is .. odd … I mean, you extract oil from the seabed, or from olives, but from a property? “There be leccy in them thar bricks !”
And the second ? Couldn’t that almost say “illegally being in somewhere you can’t get out of” ? And you can be done for the opposite too can’t you ? Go protest in a field and try it 🙂
Reading the story and about the amount of criminal damage that was done, I can imagine the arresting officers being initially confident of charges only for them to be knocked away one by one until someone dug through some dust to drag those two relics of laws into the sunlight.

(And just in case you want to frame someone, get them to place the postage stamp upside down on the letter. Given that’s Treason, they should disappear for quite some time!)

One thought on “Laws: Quaint

  1. The first is because they didn’t just take something without paying for it (everyone except for the music industry takes that as the definition of regular ‘theft’), they connected to the electricity network without permission (dodgy hookup to avoid the meter), so the very act of connection was illegal and separate from the fact that they used it to avoid paying.

    As for the second one, I think (may be wrong, not a lawyer) that the distinction is that they had to break a lock or somesuch (so it would be reasonable to assume that the owner didn’t want anyone to go in) rather than just finding an abandoned house with all the doors left unlocked or whatever, so it is more serious because of that.

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