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Norfolk farmer recalls killing teenage burglar

Friday 21 August 2009 09:43

Norfolk farmer Tony Martin has recalled how he shot and killed a teenage burglar 10 years ago this week.

Mr Martin opened fire with an unlicensed pump-action shotgun after two burglars broke into his remote farm house at Emneth Hungate on 20 August 1999.

Speaking a decade later, Mr Martin said he had no regrets about his actions, which resulted in the death of 16-year-old Fred Barras.

Accomplice Brendon Fearon, then 29, was wounded in the incident but managed to escape.

"Effectively, as soon as I pulled that trigger he was a dead man, he was gone,” Mr Martin told the BBC.

“Shame really as I'd never used that gun before. I really don't give it a second thought.”

Mr Fearon was sentenced to three years in jail after being found guilty of conspiracy to burgle Martin's home.

Mr Martin was found guilty of murder and jailed for five years. But his conviction was reduced on appeal to manslaughter and he was released in 2003.

His friend Malcolm Starr said he believed Mr Martin actually regretted the killing.

He said: "Because Mr Martin suffers from Asperger's syndrome he can't show his feelings. I think deep down he gets very, very upset when his feelings change.”

Mr Martin no longer lives at the farmhouse.

The building, which was already dilapidated a decade ago, is boarded up and partly covered by vegetation.

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