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16 Mar, 2008 02:47

Mother avoids jail after burglar killing

A Russian mother who shot two armed burglars, killing one of them, will not face any charges. Police in the Sverdlovsk region have decided she was acting in self defence, protecting her three children.

The woman could have faced up to two years in jail.

For almost three months Oksana has been desperately trying to prove to police that when the attack happened she had no other choice but to shoot.

“The two broke in with knifes, started threatening and asking for money. My husband tried to stop them but they beat him,” Oksana said.

And all this was happening in front of her terrified children. Oksana managed to run out of the room and fetch a rifle.

One of the burglars was killed, the other wounded. Neighbours of the family all agree she did what she had to do.

Prosecutors had no doubt that shooting the first burglar was justified, but they were not sure about her second shot. According to the law, people can use weapons only when threatened with immediate mortal danger.

Later police did prove that the second criminal also attacked Oksana.

Lawyers said that the damage caused by the attackers is much less than what they suffered as a result.

But in this case the law protects Oksana because she has a right to protect her property and the lives of her and her family.

Asked if she could turn back time, Oksana said, she would do exactly the same.

“I don't regret it. I protected my children,” she said.

Killings in self-defense have always been a challenge for prosecutors. Oksana's story has a happy ending, but for many other self-defenders it ends up in court.