The judicial system cannot protect the victims of crime, the plaintiff in an attempted burglary said after the High Court’s Taichung branch on Saturday upheld the first court’s acquittal of the suspect.
Prosecutors said a man, surnamed Wang (王), was caught in March trying to use a kitchen knife to break a lock and enter the Changhua County residence of a man surnamed Hung (洪).
Wang had visited Hung’s Dacheng Township (大城) home once before and knew that Hung owned several valuable artworks, prosecutors said.
Wang drove to Hung’s home early on March 21 and used a knife that Hung had left on a counter outside his home to break open the control box and open the home’s outer door, they said.
Hung discovered Wang as he was trying to open the inner door.
Questioned by police, Wang initially admitted to planning to rob the house, but after being indicted for attempted armed burglary, Wang told the court that he was under the influence of sleeping pills and did not know what he was doing.
The Changhua District Court acquitted Wang, saying that he had not been caught in the act of committing burglary and that his presence at Hung’s home therefore could only be considered “preparation for committing burglary,” which is not a punishable offense under the Criminal Code.
Hung’s lawyer appealed the ruling, saying it was “a notable disconnect with the needs of the public.”
The High Court upheld the Changhua court’s ruling, saying that Wang’s conduct could not be considered an attempted burglary as he had not entered the home, had not come close to Hung’s artworks and had not searched for valuables.
The High Court’s verdict cannot be appealed.
“The judiciary is useless. Should there be lives lost before a case could be considered severe?” Hung said after learning of the ruling.
Hung said he did not really know Wang, but had asked the court to give him a light sentence because Wang is a known drug addict who has two children.
However, Hung said he had never expected the judges to find Wang “not guilty.”
Wang broke into his premises and that is no different than actually carrying out a robbery, Hung said.
The verdict is unlikely to deter Wang and might actually give him an incentive to repeat his crime, Hung said.
The judiciary appears incapable of protecting the public, Hung said.
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