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He wasn't really a burglar, but I'm glad I killed him anyway

By Denys Finch-Hatton


IT was three o’clock in the morning when I heard the ominous creak of my feet on the bedroom floor.

I tiptoed slowly downstairs, thinking feverish thoughts about what was soon to occur. I opened the kitchen cupboard where I keep my shotgun, hid it inside my dressing gown, got in my car and went looking for a tramp.

It didn’t take me long to find Bobby. He was huddled under the awning of a disused petrol station and welcomed my offer of a cheese toastie, some hot coffee and a scented bath.

We talked in the car and he struck me as a decent soul to whom life had perhaps dealt an unfair hand. But thankfully his hard luck story made not the slightest dent on my conscience as I followed him up the garden path and into the house before pulling out the shotgun and blasting him in the middle of the back as soon as he reached the drawing room door.

In these situations it is vitally important to make full use of the adrenalin, so I called the police, somewhat breathlessly, and uttered the magic words: “A man’s broken into my house… I was so scared… I grabbed my gun and shot him… I think he might be dead.. I don’t know what to do.” I may even have sobbed a little.

The police were terribly understanding as Bobby was heaved into a large plastic bag, but stressed that there was a slim chance they may have to charge me with a minor assault.

I suppose there was perhaps the occasional worry at the back of my mind as I awaited my day in court. But those meagre anxieties evaporated as I was handed a one-year suspended sentence and a £200 fine.

That night I raised a glass to Bobby and imagined the two of us meeting up in heaven where I would finally get the chance to thank him for allowing me to experience the unparalleled thrill of killing a complete stranger.

And now that the government has finally seen sense and opened up this glorious opportunity to everyone, perhaps, just perhaps Britain could be on the road back to decency and, dare I say it, a little bit of common sense.

I suspect that Bobby would agree.