Its legal for Premier League footballers to batter burglars senseless, says UK Home Office

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London, Sep 26(ANI): After reports of several Premier League players being robbed by thugs, a UK Home Office document is being circulated among football players, which clearly indicates what they can and cannot do if they find someone raiding their home.

The document, issued by the Crown Prosecution Service, follows a day after Everton defender Phil Jagielka became the latest casualty of a list of footballers, who have been prey to many crooks, who tend to strike at their homes when their teams are playing away games, The Daily Star reports.

Jagielka was robbed by three thugs at knifepoint, which has left him shaken, but unhurt.

To the question: "Do you have to wait to be attacked before fighting back?"

The document says: "No, not if you are in your home, in fear for yourself or others. In those circumstances the law does not require you to wait to be attacked before using defensive force. Anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves."

"As a general rule, the more extreme the circumstances and the fear felt, the more force you can lawfully use in self-defence," it added.

The document also warns players not to go overboard, and said: "If, having knocked someone unconscious, you then decide to further hurt or kill them to punish them... you would be acting with very excessive and gratuitous force and could be prosecuted."

Jagielka, who is recovering after rupturing knee ligaments in April and did not travel with his teammates, was watching his side play Hull in the Carling Cup, when the burglars burst into his 2.5 million pound house in Knutsford and forced him to hand over jewellery and the keys to his Range Rover.

He was the 17th football player to be targeted in the area in three years.

Earlier, Blackburn Rovers midfielder Vince Grella was held at knifepoint inside his Wilmslow home, and in December 2007, burglars had confronted Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's wife Alex Curran while he was playing away in the Champions League. (ANI)

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