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Last Updated: Friday, 13 June, 2003, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Shot burglar wins right to sue Martin
Brendon Fearon
Brendon Fearon, 33, hopes to sue Martin for a reported 15,000
Burglar Brendon Fearon who was shot and injured by Tony Martin has won the right to sue the jailed farmer for damages.

A judge at Nottingham County Court on Friday overturned an earlier decision which threw out his claim.

Fearon, 33, hopes to sue Martin for a reported 15,000 following his wounding during a break-in at the farmer's home in Emneth Hungate, Norfolk, in August 1999.

Martin shot dead Fearon's accomplice, 16-year-old Fred Barras, of Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Martin, 58, is currently serving a five-year sentence for manslaughter at Highpoint Prison in Suffolk.

Tony Martin
Tony Martin is due to leave prison in July

He was originally jailed for life after being convicted of murder but that conviction was reduced to manslaughter on appeal.

He is due to leave prison in July, after the Parole Board refused to release him on licence earlier this year.

Its decision was upheld by a High Court judge this month, when Martin attempted to seek a judicial review of the board's decision.

On Friday at Nottingham County Court, District Judge Brian Oliver said: "I conclude that it is proper I grant the relief that the claimant seeks."

He sent the case to be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice and the court was told a date was likely to be set when both men were released from prison terms.

Could contravene human rights

An earlier hearing was told that Fearon, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, claimed that his injuries, which included a leg wound, had affected his ability to enjoy sex and martial arts.

"I have to take the view that there are important issues here that need to be determined and that it would be wrong, subject to other considerations, to deprive the claimant from airing his claim and having a full trial," said District Judge Oliver.

He said that to deny Fearon the right to his claim could contravene the burglar's rights under Section 6 of the Human Rights Convention.

He said that the case would be sent to the High Court because of the amount of public interest and because of the complex nature of matters to be decided.

District Judge Oliver said that the full hearing must consider what rights a householder has to protect his property and also whether a burglar can be deemed to be outside of the law.

The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"Fearon now claims he was permanently injured"

Should burglars have the right to sue?
13 Jun 03  |  Have Your Say
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