|DAILY TELEGRAPH NEWS 11
January 2000. By David Sapsted.
youth dead as raiders took silver
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
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".
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
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."
hit by 196 pellets in the back of his legs,
wrenched a window from its back, fel l out after
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.
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.
]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.
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.
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.
retreated from the dogs and as they did so
happened across the farmhouse which is difficult
to see from the lane," said Mr ]ames.
said Barras used a screwdriver to prize open a
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.
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
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.
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
Emneth in rural Norfolk:
Scene of a recent shooting
Crime wave strikes
farmers are increasingly at risk of
burglary, vandalism and violence, a
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.
risk burglary, vandalism and attacks on
animals and machinery - and are now
facing the threat of physical and verbal
abuse, according to the research.
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.
Tony Martin now stands accused of murder
following the incident.
East worst hit
of 120 farmers found that a third had
been subjected to verbal abuse and one in
10 to physical abuse.
half (45%) had encountered vandalism and
20% had suffered arson attacks.
five said they feared attack and 40% said
they thought crime on the urban fringes
was getting worse.
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.
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
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.
Alderslade said: "Fences broken
down, cattle slaughtered in the fields,
trampled crops, fire to straw stacks.
not just farming against the weather,
you're farming against people."
effort to curb the attacks, 60% of
farmers said they had joined crime
Office said 400 crime reduction
strategies were now in place across the
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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