In the case of Tony Martin, it meant shooting an escaping burglar in the back.
Munir Hussain, a father of three, returned from the mosque he attends with his family, and he, his wife, and his three children were tied up by the three masked intruders in his house.
He was told he was to be killed. He threw a coffee table, and made good his escape. He found his brother, and chased the intruders down the road. The one they caught was beaten with a cricket bat. The bat split into three, an indication of the force used. He has a permanent brain injury, and was not fit to plead. He is effectively in a secure mental hospital for life.
He was jailed. The Times Online link has comments at the foot of the page. If you look to see the "Most Recommended" (sic), one of the top two comments is as follows:
THESE MEN DESERVE MEDALS NOT JAIL. LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS AN APPEAL FUND FOR THEM & A HANGING FUND FOR THE OTHERS.
The judge, of course, made remarks, which received precious little attention. His comments deserve repeating, albeit as reported by the press, and not from a transcript:
"If persons were permitted to take the law into their own hands and inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are the hallmarks of a civilised society, would collapse."
Quite right, too, however tempting it may be to grab that bat or 12-gauge.