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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 April, 2003, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Burglar cannot sue jailed farmer
Tony Martin
Tony Martin is in prison at Highpoint in Suffolk
Jailed farmer Tony Martin was said to be "relieved" when a damages bid by the burglar he shot failed.

Martin, 58, shot and wounded Brendon Fearon, 33, during a break-in at his isolated home in Emneth Hungate, Norfolk, in August 1999.

Martin also shot dead Fearon's 16-year-old accomplice Fred Barras after confronting the pair in his farmhouse late at night.

Fearon, who was jailed for his part in the raid on Martin's home and has more than 30 criminal convictions, was given legal aid to launch a claim for damages as a result of being shot.

Tony has had more letters about being sued for damages than he did after the original shooting
Malcolm Starr
The burglar, from Newark in Nottinghamshire, alleged his wounds had affected his ability to enjoy sex and that he had suffered post-traumatic stress.

Malcolm Starr, who has led the campaign for Martin's freedom, said the claim had collapsed following a hearing at Nottingham County Court in which a judge had ruled that Fearon had failed to provide sufficient evidence to justify his claim.

He said Martin told him: "That is a terrific relief."

"Tony has probably had more letters about this issue of him being sued for damages than he did after the original shooting incident," said Mr Starr.

"He does want the law changed to stop this happening again.

"And I think the average person on the street would also feel it is ridiculous that the law allows someone like Fearon to seek damages from someone like Tony in this sort of situation."

Challenge denied

On 2 April, a High Court judge blocked the farmer's latest legal bid to be freed.

He had asked for permission to challenge the parole board's refusal to release him from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk.

But the judge ruled the parole board was entitled to make the decision.

Robin Lloyds, one of the lawyers working on Martin's case, said a further appeal was now being considered.

Jailed farmer set to return home
20 Mar 03  |  England
Legal lessons of the Martin case
30 Oct 01  |  UK News

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