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Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005, 17:46 GMT 18:46 UK
Farmer killed by 'callous' thief
Michael Boffey
Michael Boffey died from head injuries after being run over
A pig farmer from Warwickshire who died trying to prevent his Land Rover being stolen was the victim of what police have described as a callous attack.

Detectives launched a murder inquiry after Mick Boffey, 61, was run over at Grange Farm in Featherbed Lane, Withybrook, on Saturday morning.

The vehicle was found about three miles away in Wolvey. The thieves are thought to have dumped it after panicking.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Boffey died from head injuries.

Christine Russell
Fifteen minutes from laughing and joking to being dead is hard to believe
Farm worker Christine Russell

His body was found at about 1100 BST and the Land Rover Discovery was abandoned in the car park of St John the Baptist Church later the same morning.

Mr Boffey, a father-of-three and grandfather of four, was married to Bernice. The couple lived in Burton Hastings, about three miles from the farm.

Det Ch Insp Sarah Goodhall, of Warwickshire Police, said: "This is a tragic incident in which a member of the public going about his normal business on a Saturday morning has become the victim of a callous attack which has resulted in his death.

Michael Boffey's farm in Featherbed Lane, Withybrook
Michael Boffey was found next to a sheep dip pit

"We want to make the perpetrators aware of the full extent of what they've done."

Mr Boffey's eldest son, William, told a news conference on Monday: "My dad was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

"Farming to him was a dream come true. He loved it, it was his life.

"Now someone has intruded into his life and our lives and robbed us of the man that we loved dearly."

Two offenders

Christine Russell, a farm worker, was at the property when Mr Boffey was fatally injured.

"Fifteen minutes from laughing and joking to being dead is hard to believe," she told BBC Midlands Today.

"And our only wish now is to get the people who did this, because that's the only thing I think we can do... for the family."

Police said two men were seen at Grange Farm in a large silver car just before the robbery.

They are both described as white and aged between 25 and 30, with short dark hair.

The man driving the silver car is said to be stocky and was wearing a red or pink T-shirt.

His passenger has a darker complexion than the other offender and was wearing a black T-shirt.

Police want to hear from anyone who saw either the silver car or the Land Rover being driven in the area at the time.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See Michael Boffey's family plea for help



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