Sterling Times

The British Museum of Political Incorrectness - Page 4

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This page is dedicated to Tony Martin, the brave English gentleman who defended his home and now is now in prison for life convicted of murder.
Self-defence is no offence - Free Tony Martin

An Englisman's home is his castle. From the song, "All Things Bright and Beautiful" comes the now politically incorrect words: "The rich man at his castle, The poor man at his gate, God made them high and mighty, He ordered their estate".

Tony Martin is a Norfolk farmer who shot and killed a young man who was in the process of burgling his home. Here is the background:

Murder charge farmer bailed

A farmer accused of murdering a 16-year-old youth in a late-night incident at his isolated farmhouse has been freed on bail.

Tony Martin, 54, of Emneth, Norfolk, had previously been remanded in custody on two occasions by magistrates.

But Judge David Mellor ruled Mr Martin should be freed on conditional bail at a 30-minute hearing behind closed doors at Norwich Crown Court.

An inquest last week was told Mr Barras died from a shotgun wound.

Mr Fearon was treated for shotgun injuries to the leg.

Mr Martin has been ordered to appear before Norwich Magistrates on 2 November.

After the hearing, his barrister, John Stobart, made no comment other than to confirm brief details of the judge's decision.

Mr Martin, a bachelor, is accused of murdering Fred Barras, a market trader from Newark, Nottinghamshire, on 20 August.

He is also accused of causing grievous bodily harm to Brendon Fearon, also from Newark.

An inquest last week was told Mr Barras died from a shotgun wound.

Mr Fearon was treated for shotgun injuries to the leg.

'Great relief'

Tony Martin's remote famhouse in west Norfolk

Publicist Max Clifford, who is representing Mr Martin, said: "I am delighted and I have no doubt that Tony is delighted although I haven't had the chance to speak to him or his lawyers yet.

"This is what everyone was hoping for and it will be a great relief to his family and all his friends."

Mr Martin's mother, Hilary Martin, who is in her late 70s, said: "It's wonderful news. "I've just been praying that it would be good news and now my prayers have been answered. I'm looking forward to seeing him."

DAILY TELEGRAPH NEWS 11 January 2000. By David Sapsted.

Farmer shot youth dead as raiders took silver

THE first detailed account of the night a 16-year-old youth was shot dead by a farmer who interrupted a burglary at his home was given in court yesterday.

Fred Barras died last August when he and two accomplices drove from Newark, Notts, to burgle a farm in Norfolk that they thought was "unoccupied and near-derelict".

Tony Martin, 57 the ownerof the farmhouse, Bleak House in Enmeth, near Wisbech, was in bed when Barras and Brendon Fearon, the gang leader, broke in. Ian ]ames, prosecuting, told Norwich Crown Court :

"On becoming aware of the presence of strangers, Mr Martin had armed himself with a shotgun. Having located the men downstairs, Mr Martin shot at them several times."

Fearon, hit by 196 pellets in the back of his legs, wrenched a window from its back, fel l out after him.

"Barras only managed to crawl a matter of yards from the window where he died of his injuries. He was found the following morning, said Mr ]ames.

Yesterday's hearing before ]udge David Mellor was to pass sentence on Fear on, 29, and Darren Bark, 33,' the gang's driver, both of whom admitted conspiracy to burgle last month.

Mr ]ames said that Fearon had planned to burgle Bleak House after he had heard fellow travell ers talking in a Newark pub two months earlier about the farm, which had been burgled several times.

Fearon later told police that he had overheard that the farm contained valuable furniture and small antiques and that he decided to take a pop at it." On Aug 20, he persuaded Bark to drive him and Barras from Newark to the farm. Bark stayed in the car waiting in a lane.

Barras and Fearon, armed with a torch. screwdriver and several bags, were making their way up the farm drive when they were alarmed by the barking of Mr Martin' s rottweillers.

They retreated from the dogs and as they did so happened across the farmhouse which is difficult to see from the lane," said Mr ]ames.

He said Barras used a screwdriver to prize open a window.

They crossed the hall in the house, which has no electricity, and went into a downstairs room where they placed several pieces of silverware in the bags before Mr Martin, who faces being tried for murder later this year, opened fire.

Chris Kessling, defending Fearon, admitted that his client had organised the "expedition". "That expedition," he said, "became something far greater" than Fearon bad expected. "He was shot and he lost a close, young friend; feels extreme guilt about."

A psychiatrist's report showed Fearon was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Before the burglary, said Mr Kessling, he was "overconfident, complacent, arrogant" , but now suffered flashbacks and was tearful.

Fearon, who still walks with a stick, had 11 pellets in his thigh and had physiotherapy twice a week. Fearon was jailed for three years and Bark was given two and half years with an additional 12 months outstanding from earlier offences. They will be released on licence after 1 serving half their sentences.

Emneth in rural Norfolk: Scene of a recent shooting

Crime wave strikes farmers

The UK's farmers are increasingly at risk of burglary, vandalism and violence, a survey says.

The research for BBC One's Countryfile programme says that more than half of farmers who own land on the fringes of towns and cities have suffered at the hands of criminals in the past year.

Farmers risk burglary, vandalism and attacks on animals and machinery - and are now facing the threat of physical and verbal abuse, according to the research.

Recent events near the Norfolk village of Emneth, near Wisbech, where a suspected burglar was shot and killed, sparked a shower of complaints about rural crime levels from local residents.

Farmer Tony Martin now stands accused of murder following the incident.

North East worst hit

The survey of 120 farmers found that a third had been subjected to verbal abuse and one in 10 to physical abuse.

Nearly half (45%) had encountered vandalism and 20% had suffered arson attacks.

One in five said they feared attack and 40% said they thought crime on the urban fringes was getting worse.

The survey, carried out for the BBC by Broadcasting Support Services, also showed that 55% had suffered burglary, with farm machinery being the most popular target, but animals and crops were also targeted.

Farmers in the North East and Yorkshire were worst hit by crime.

'Farming against people'

One family, the Alderslades, tenant farmers at Wardley, near Sunderland, say they had noticed the changes since their farm was engulfed by a main road and sprawling housing estates.

The Alderslades have had pregnant cows shot and butchered in their fields, bales of straw set alight, 85 acres of corn destroyed by fire, repeated theft of farm equipment and stone-throwing attacks on buildings, machinery and members of the family while working in the fields.

Geoff Alderslade said: "Fences broken down, cattle slaughtered in the fields, trampled crops, fire to straw stacks.

"You're not just farming against the weather, you're farming against people."

In an effort to curb the attacks, 60% of farmers said they had joined crime prevention schemes.

The Home Office said 400 crime reduction strategies were now in place across the country.

A spokesman said: "Those partnerships covering rural areas should be addressing specific local crime problems and the concerns of the rural community."

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