… a kind of Legal Column

The Burglar May Sue You

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Q   HAVING  endured several burglaries at my home over the years, I have now placed broken glass around the walls but am now a little worried as someone told me that if an intruder injured himself on one of my walls he could sue me even though he would be trespassing at the time.

Is this true?


A   NO DOUBT you have heard it often said that the Law is an Ass.

Well to answer your question I must regretfully advise you that the law as it stands would leave you liable to the trespasser for injuries received due to your having glass upon your walls.

A long time ago it was permissible for the land owner to shoot trespassers he found on his land.

This was of course barbaric and was subsequently changed. You as an occupier of property must of course protect your property to the best of your ability from burglars but the law does not allow you to put man-traps on your land.

The glass on your garden walls would be considered such a man-trap.

With this knowledge many people still place broken glass on walls in order to deter intruders and I cannot blame them.

Just remember though that if your garden walls are any way low you may be creating a serious man-trap for local children who will climb walls to retrieve footballs etc.


THE STAR , Friday January 25, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

January 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm

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