Farmer who shot burglar dead tells of confronting new intruder

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Farmer Tony Martin, who was jailed for shooting dead a burglar in 1999, has said he confronted a burglar on his property yesterday.

Mr Martin, who was convicted of murder following the 1999 incident but later saw this reduced to manslaughter, said he caught the burglar in the act near an outbuilding near Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, yesterday.

He said the would-be burglar drove off when he confronted him and he decided not to attempt to stop him, adding: “I couldn’t face going through all that again.”

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said inquiries were ongoing.

Mr Martin was living alone at his farmhouse in Emneth Hungate, Norfolk, when he caught Brendon Fearon, then 29, and Fred Barras, 16, inside his house. He fired his shotgun three times, killing Barras.

He was initially jailed for nine years but the conviction was reduced to manslaughter on appeal and his sentence cut to three years. The case provoked a national debate about the measures homeowners can take to defend their property.

Speaking about the latest incident, Mr Martin, said he was visiting the shed when he saw the man attempting to steal car batteries.

He said: “There were weapons inside the shed so, if I had wanted to fight him off, I could have.

“I wished I had but, after everything I’ve been through in the past, I just couldn’t face all that hassle again.

“It isn’t the first time it’s happened since I’ve been out of prison – it’s happened two or three times.”