Letter: When killing is not murder

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a child I was lucky enough to have an interesting father who had interesting friends. One of these, the novelist Gerald Kersh, most earnestly instructed me in my ninth year, 'Never hit a man with a bottle, never load your right hand and never kick a man when he's down'. This advice was given for no gentlemanly reasons of fair play, but because they were three common causes of death and thus of murder and execution.

A significant number of people are still kicked to death, often for protesting against hooliganism or vandalism. The kickers know it is murderous and it is time the judges realised this. ('Appeal sought over five-year sentence for boy's killer'.)

Yours faithfully,


Eastbourne, East Sussex