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Punch and jury court hell of dad put through year of torment for hitting burglar only to be cleared in 30 minutes (4 Pics)

When Carl Sinclair was ­confronted by a burglar at his home, his first instinct was to protect his family and property.
But the 47-year-old ended up being charged with attacking raider Hughie Hendry and spent the next 11 months fearing he was going to prison.
And the brave dad slammed the justice system after a jury took just 30 minutes to clear him of wounding the career criminal drug addict.
Carl, who lost his job as a railway safety manager because of the stress of his arrest last December, said he believed the case should never have even got to court.
Magistrates even increased his original charge of assault to wounding, which carries jail sentences of three years to life.
Sinclair confronted drug addict and criminal Hughie Hendry

Speaking of his nightmare year, he fought back tears as he said: “I was never the criminal but my life has been left in tatters. I’m just a dad and a husband who did what any man would do to protect his family.
“Yet for 11 months I’ve been made to feel like a nasty criminal and faced going to prison for a long time.
“We would have lost our house and my family would have been on the streets as I wouldn’t have been able to pay the mortgage.
“How is that fair? I stop a well-known thug attacking us and breaking into our home and we are left with the risk of losing everything we have worked so hard for.
“It sends out the completely wrong message to victims of a burglary.
“It makes you feel like you can’t defend yourself, your family or your property against these criminals.
“The justice system is a farce and I dread to think how many thousands it has cost taxpayers.
“It’s been 11 months of hell. I’m just so glad it’s all over.”
Carl confronted Hendry after the thief was heard trying the front door to their home in Doncaster, South Yorks, as he, wife Nicola, daughters Natalie, 20, and Chelsea,16, and 20-year-old son Ryan slept.
Nicola then looked out of the window and spotted the crook attempting to get into their car.
Speaking after her husband was found not guilty at Sheffield crown court, the secretary said: “I instantly screamed for Carl, terrified what Hendry would do next.”
Carl, who feared the yob was carrying a knife, rushed outside in just his boxer shorts clutching a lump hammer. He added: “My first priority was my family and home. I had no thoughts for my safety. Hendry was on our pathway.
“He squared up to me. All I was worrying about was my kids’ throats being cut. I was so scared. Instinct took over.
“My main aim was to stop him pulling out a knife. I wrestled Hendry to the floor. I did punch him but just enough to stop him coming back to hurt me or my family. It was all over in 20 seconds. I shouted for Nicola to call the police.” But when officers arrived, he was arrested.
After being cleared, Carl, who has been burgled before, said: “The relief was ­enormous. I was terrified I would be leaving the courts via a prison van.

“Our whole life has been put on hold for nearly a year. The law needs to be changed. Victims should be protected not punished.”
Hendry was jailed for eight weeks for interfering with the family’s car.
The Crown Prosecution Service said: “We acknowledge and respect the decision the jury has reached.”

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