Man surrenders after TV murder plea

A MAN surrendered to police yesterday following a TV appeal by detectives investigating the murder of a man during a botched robbery at his farm.

CCTV was screened on Tuesday night's BBC Crimewatch programme of a man officers were keen to speak to in connection with Julian Gardner's killing.

Police arrested the man after he handed himself in and he is now facing questioning in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Mr Gardner, 53, suffered multiple injuries after disturbing intruders at Bush Barn Farm in Robertsbridge where he ran an agricultural and car repair business.

Detectives believe he was woken by a noise and set off to investigate, taking a shotgun with him, before confronting a gang as they ransacked his workshop.

His body was found by his business partner on October 11, with the killing believed to have taken place some time after 11pm the previous day.

One theory behind the death is that the compression-type injuries he sustained were caused when he was crushed between two vehicles.

Two Crimewatch viewers came forward with the same name of the man shown on CCTV at a local garage on October 10.

A third man, from Kent, also called to say the picture was of him.

During a reconstruction of the killing, Mr Gardner's 91-year-old mother, Molly Gardner, appealed directly to the consciences of her son's killers and asked: "I would say, was what you gained worth a life?"

This latest arrest by Sussex Police's major crime branch takes the number of people held over Mr Gardner's death to nine but no one has been charged with his killing.

Police are offering a 10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Mr Gardner's murder.