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Monday, 30 April, 2001, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Burglar to have say in farmer's parole
Tony Martin
A parole board will decide when Martin is released
A jailed burglar, whose teenage accomplice was shot and killed by Tony Martin, is to have his views put to the farmer's parole board.

Martin, 56, was jailed for life in April last year for killing 16-year-old burglar Fred Barras and wounding Brendan Fearon, 31.

It is quite monstrous that this man should have any say whatsoever

Gerald Howarth
Conservative MP
The pair were attempting to burgle Martin's remote Norfolk farmhouse in 1999 when they were shot.

Now it has been revealed that Fearon - serving three years for the burglary - is to be consulted when Martin's release is considered by a parole board.

Although Fearon will be able to ask that Martin not live near him or contact him, he will have no say in when the farmer is released.

Martin's solicitor James Saunders said it was "fanciful" to suggest that his client could pose a threat to Fearon.

"If Mr Fearon adopts the plan of not going burgling, particularly not burgling Mr Martin, then he need have absolutely no fear of Mr Martin."

'Quite monstrous'

Gerald Howarth, Conservative MP for Aldershot, said: "It is quite monstrous that this man should have any say whatsoever in the application of parole conditions for Martin.

We was [sic] not there to take your belongings, merely to escape your dogs

Brendan Fearon
"Every householder will be appalled that an intruder, someone bent on robbery and possibly violence, should be in a position to pass judgement on a householder seeking to defend himself."

The Home Office has refused to discuss the specific case but stressed the actual date of an offender's release was a matter for the parole board.


There is no minimum tariff for prisoners serving life sentences. Each case is considered individually, it said.

However, it confirmed victims were consulted about conditions surrounding the release of anyone sentenced to more than four years; or for violent and sex offences, anyone sentenced to 12 months or more.

Brendan Fearon
Brendan Fearon: Injured in the burglary
A letter written by Fearon to Martin in Gartree prison, Leicestershire, has been published in national newspapers.

Fearon wrote: "I have been visited by the Victim Support Group in relation to my feeling about you gaining parole in the future.

"I was, therefore, forced to think about how remorseful you may be."

In his letter, Fearon said he had not been trying to burgle Martin.

"We was not there to take your belongings, merely to escape your dogs and didn't mean to be intruders."

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