Wisbech: Farmer Confronts Burglar Again

A farmer from Wisbech, jailed for shooting dead a burglar in 1999, says he has confronted another burglar.

Tony 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 at his property near Wisbech yesterday (Thursday). 

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: "Police were called to reports of an attempted burglary of outbuildings at a property in Wisbech at around 1.20pm yesterday. 

Inquiries are ongoing.''

Mr Martin was living alone at his farmhouse in Emneth Hungate, near Wisbech, when he caught Brendon Fearon, then 29, and Fred Barras, 16, inside his house.

He fired his shotgun three times towards the intruders, killing Baras. 

He was initially jailed for nine years after being convicted of murder but the conviction was reduced to manslaughter on appeal and his sentence was reduced 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, who no longer lives in Emneth Hungate, 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. 

I haven't changed my views about what happened in 1999 but the whole experience has made me lose faith in the system and I didn't want to be made out as the criminal again.'' 

Mr Martin added that he had suffered from depression in recent years and events since his conviction had highlighted the dangers that people living in rural areas can face. 

Referring to the 2010 death of Julian Gardner, 52, who was run over after confronting a gang of burglars on his land in East Sussex, he added: "I could have got in front of this guy's car but I remembered that case and didn't want to get myself killed. 

I'm angry that things like this are still happening and that there's nothing people like me can do to protect ourselves. 

But I'm tired of it all so I've done what you're supposed to do and reported it to police. 

They came and saw me immediately but I don't know if anything will be done about it; we'll see.''

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