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Thursday, 6 February, 2003, 14:28 GMT
'Notorious' burglar jailed over drugs
Brendan Fearon
Fearon's attorney said he was too well-known
A man shot in the leg by farmer Tony Martin was jailed for 18 months on Thursday - after he attempted to have the drugs charges against him thrown out because of his notoriety.

Brendon Fearon, 32, of Albion Street, Newark, was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court of passing heroin to Dean Thompson as he was taken from Newark police station to a security van.

The court was told that Thompson was being moved to Lincoln Prison when Fearon forced a 0.12 gramme package of the drug into his mouth on 12 September last year.

Fearon and accomplice Fred Barras became well-known after they were fired on by Martin as they attempted to burgle his rural home in 1999.

'PR machine'

Before proceedings began, Andrew Cohen, defending, urged the court to throw out the case because of Fearon's fame.

He said: "No one likes burglars very much, save their own mothers, and there is a lot of public support for Mr Martin's position.

"There is a PR machine behind Mr Martin and this has ensured that his case has been kept in the public eye."

Barras, aged 16, died in the incident at the farm and Fearon suffered leg injuries for which he has begun attempts to sue Martin for loss of earnings.


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23 Dec 02 | England
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