Edwin Pitkin faced what must be any family man’s worst fear, someone breaking into the house in the middle of the night, whilst his wife and kids are asleep upstairs.
Unbeknownst to Pitkin, the man breaking in was actually his neighbour who had accidentally ended up at the wrong house, and believing it was his own, was trying to break in.
Fearing, and rightly so, that the intruder meant to harm him or his family, Pitkin armed himself with a knife and tackled the intruder, a Mr Mark Woods.
Woods, who’d been on a 12 hour bender, somehow became confused and mistook Pitkin’s house for his own, and when he couldn’t get in he tried to break in. When challenged by Pitkin, Woods must have assumed that Pitkin had broken into his house and was in the process of robbing him. In another sad testament to the break down of the traditional British community, neither man recognised the other, despite being neighbours. A fight broke out and Woods was fatally stabbed.
A tragic accident, but as Rene Barclay of the CPS rightly said:
“We have to take account of the circumstances as Mr Pitkin believed them to be. We therefore concluded that there was no realistic prospect of conviction in this case because there was insufficient evidence to establish Mark Woods was unlawfully killed.”
Pitkin did what he was entitled to do by law, protect himself, his family and his property. Woods, in his drunken state had apparently become aggressive and would no doubt have caused injury to Pitkin had he not been armed.
It is gratifying to hear that the CPS will not be pursuing charges against Pitkin in this regrettable incident. An Englishman’s home is his castle and he should have the right to defend it, and his family, anyway that he can.