let someone have it

Let Him Have It

Let Him Have It is a 1991 British film set in 1952 and based on the true story of the case against Derek Bentley, who was hanged for murder under controversial circumstances. While Bentley did not directly play a role in the murder of PC Sidney Miles, he received the greater punishment than the gunman (who was below the age of 18). It stars Christopher Eccleston as Bentley, with Paul Reynolds, Tom Courtenay and Tom Bell, and was directed by Peter Medak.


The title of the film is taken from Bentley's alleged cry of "Let him have it, Chris!" shortly before Christopher Craig shot PC Miles. Crown prosecutors suggested that Bentley meant, "Go ahead and shoot him," while the defence argued that he meant, "Give him the gun" (and thus, surrender). Despite what the film showed, a police officer dying from cancer stated that Derek Bentley never said the infamous phrase. If this is the case, it is widely believed that the reason the police attributed the quote to Bentley is that there was a similar case where someone had said "Let him have it!", and it was still fresh in the police officers' minds.

Craig was sentenced to jail At Her Majesty's Pleasure, but only spent ten years there. He has been a law abiding citizen ever since.

Derek Bentley's father bought an expensive bottle of wine in 1958 to celebrate their victory in proving that he was innocent. Sadly however, Bentley's parents never got to drink it. His father William Bentley died on 12 July 1974 and his mother died on 10 October 1976.

The film's end titles state that Bentley's sister Iris was still fighting for his pardon, however seven years after the film was made, and after numerous unsuccessful campaigns to get Derek Bentley a full pardon, he was posthumously pardoned on 30 July 1998. However, Bentley's sister had also passed away by this point

Tagline: The shocking story of an unbelievable miscarriage of justice.


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