Martin murder appeal starts

15 October 2001

Martin murder appeal starts

By FWi staff

TONY Martin, the Norfolk farmer jailed for murdering a teenage burglar, is appealing against his conviction.

An appeal court headed by the Lord Chief Justice was being asked to re-examine the jury verdict on Monday (15 October).

Lord Woolf, Mr Justice Wright and Mr Justice Grigson are expected to hear evidence not used at the trial over the next fortnight.

The judges are likely to hear new scientific and medical testimony.

Mr Martin, 56, was jailed for life at Norwich Crown Court last year for killing 16-year-old Fred Barras at his farmhouse in August 1999.

He was also given a 10-year sentence for wounding Brendon Fearon, now 30, by shooting him in the leg.

The appeal judges will consider whether the farmer can be said to have acted reasonably in self-defence.

Mr Martin has always insisted that he acted in self-defence when he shot Fred Barras with a pump-action shotgun at his farm near Emneth.

The judges could order a retrial, reduce the murder conviction to manslaughter or quash the convictions entirely.

They could also dismiss the appeal if they find against him.

Mr Martin sacked his original solicitors. His new legal team claims he could have been acquitted if the jury had heard all available evidence.

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