A BUSINESSMAN who fought off knife-wielding burglars who were threatening to kill his family has been jailed for 30 months in a British case that has reignited the debate on how far householders can go to protect themselves and their property.
Munir Hussain, 53, discovered three masked men in his house when his family returned from their local mosque during Ramadan in September last year.
The burglars tied up and threatened to kill Hussain and his family but a teenage son managed to escape and alert Hussain's brother, Tokeer.
The intruders fled when help arrived at the house in Buckinghamshire but the brothers chased and caught one, Walid Salem, a criminal with more than 50 previous convictions. He was then subjected to what Judge John Reddihough described as a ''dreadful, violent attack'' by the Hussain brothers.
Salem was left with a permanent brain injury after he was struck with a cricket bat so hard that it broke into three pieces. The revenge attack was self-defence that went too far, Reading Crown Court was told.
The judge said Hussain's family had been subject to a ''serious and wicked offence'' and praised the bravery of his teenage son who escaped. ''This case is a tragedy for you and your families,'' the judge told Munir Hussain. ''Sadly, I have no doubt that my public duty requires me to impose immediate prison sentences of some length upon you.''
The brothers, described as family men at the heart of the local community, were found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent after a trial earlier this year.
Munir Hussain was given a 30-month sentence while his brother was jailed for 39 months after the judge decided he had not been subject to as much provocation as his brother.
Although Salem was the only intruder caught after the incident, his injuries meant he was not fit to plead after being charged with false imprisonment. He was given a two-year supervision order at a court hearing in September.