Page last updated at 06:51 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2003 07:51 UK

Timeline: The Tony Martin case

Tony Martin
Tony Martin was convicted at Norwich Crown Court
Following Tony Martin's release from custody, BBC News Online looks back at events since 16-year-old Fred Barras was killed at Martin's isolated farmhouse.

20 August 1999: Fred Barras, 16, suffers fatal gunshot wounds near Tony Martin's isolated Victorian farmhouse, Bleak House, in Emneth Hungate, Norfolk.

His friend, 29-year-old Brendan Fearon, is taken to hospital in King's Lynn with gunshot wounds to his legs.

23 August 1999: Martin, 54, is charged with murdering Mr Barras and wounding Fearon with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

24 August 1999: Martin is remanded in custody at King's Lynn Magistrates Court.

7 September 1999: Judge David Mellor rules Mr Martin should be freed on conditional bail at a 30-minute hearing behind closed doors at Norwich Crown Court.

9 September 1999: Hundreds of mourners congregate for Fred Barras's funeral at St Mary Magdalene Church in the centre of Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Abandoned car at Tony Martin's farm (picture by Marilyn Rust, BBC Radio Norfolk)
Car at Martin's farm (picture by Marilyn Rust, BBC Radio Norfolk)

Mr Martin has his bail revoked and is returned to Norwich prison for his own protection.

10 January 2000: Fearon and Darren Bark, 33, both from Newark, Nottinghamshire, admit conspiring to burgle Bleak House, accompanied by Fred Barras.

At Norwichm Crown Court Fearon is jailed for three years for conspiracy to burgle, Bark is sentenced to 30 months.

10 April 2000: At Norwich Crown Court, Martin denies murdering the teenager and attempting to murder Fearon, wounding Fearon with intent to cause injury and possessing a Winchester pump-action shotgun with intent to endanger life. He admits not having a firearms licence.

14 April 2000: Norwich Crown Court hears that Martin is taken to a secret address under police protection after death threats are made against him and reports of a 60,000 price tag on his life emerge.

Brendan Fearon
Burglar Brendan Fearon hopes to sue Martin

19 April 2000: Martin is jailed for life for the murder of Fred Barras, with 10 years to run concurrently for the wounding offence and a further 12 months for possession of an illegal firearm.

20 April 2000: Martin's solicitor, Nick Makin, pledges to appeal against his client's conviction.

Martin's legal team say a female juror has reportedly called an independent Norfolk radio station claiming they received threats during the trial.

21 April 2000: The independent Broadlands 102 FM radio station in Norwich insists the woman who contacted the station did not mention being threatened.

Tony Jones, the uncle of Mr Barras, denies anybody connected to the teenager's family made any attempt to intimidate jurors.

25 April 2000: Officials at Norwich Crown Court decide not to launch an inquiry into the allegations of jury intimidation during the trial.

After several hours of discussions, they conclude there is no hard evidence to back up the claims, in the absence of any formal complaints to police.

One of Tony Martin's peacocks at his farm (picture by Marilyn Rust, BBC Radio Norfolk)
Martin's peacock at his farm (picture by Marilyn Rust, BBC Radio Norfolk)

26 April 2000: The family of one of the jurors tells the BBC members of the jury believed they were being stared at by people in the public gallery and felt afraid leaving the court.

Martin's legal team say they will pursue the claims to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to get their client's murder conviction quashed.

28 April 2000: Martin's lawyers fax a notice of appeal against his conviction for murder to the Court of Appeal in London.

19 June 2000: The appeal begins. Three Court of Appeal judges rule that police can take the unusual step of submitting written questions to the jurors in the trial over whether they were intimidated.

27 July 2000: Mr Justice Curtis grants permission for Martin to appeal against his conviction for unlawful wounding but against the murder charge.

6 August 2000: It emerges that Fred Barras's family is to seek compensation for his death.

14 August 2000: Martin announces he intends to replace his solicitor and barrister with a new legal team.

29 August 2000: Martin launches a new appeal against his murder conviction, claiming that he was not properly represented at his trial.

(picture by Marilyn Rust, BBC Radio Norfolk)
Martin's home Bleak House (picture by Marilyn Rust, BBC Radio Norfolk)

15 October 2000: Martin's supporters appeal for funds to help him fight his murder conviction.

10 August 2001: Fearon is freed from prison following a parole board hearing.

15 October 2001: Michael Wolkind, QC, who heads Mr Martin's new legal team, tells the Court of Appeal that his trial lawyers had not presented Mr Martin's own account of what happened.

He said there was "compelling" evidence to show that the farmer acted in self-defence and under provocation or diminished responsibility.

17 October 2001: Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf - sitting with Mr Justice Wright and Mr Justice Grigson - reserves judgement on Mr Martin's appeal to a later date and says their decision would be given "as soon as possible".

30 October 2001: Martin's murder conviction reduced to manslaughter, and his 10-year sentence for wounding Fearon is cut to three years, to run concurrently.

29 June 2002 Burglar Fearon announces he is to sue Martin for 50,000.

27 September 2002: Charlton Heston, former actor and president of the US National Rifle Association, gives his support to Martin.

Tony Martin
Martin had suffered previous break-ins at his farmhouse

16 January 2003: Martin's bid to be released early on parole is rejected.

15 April 2003: Fearon's bid to sue Martin is rejected by judges.

13 June 2003: On appeal Fearon wins the right to sue Martin.

24 July 2003: Martin moved from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk to a secret location.

25 July 2003: Fearon released from prison early after being jailed for drug dealing.

26 July 2003: Home Secretary David Blunkett asks for the Prison Service to explain Fearon's early release.

28 July 2003: Martin released from custody.

Siren given to protect Martin
19 Jul 03 |  Norfolk
Manslaughter verdict for Martin
30 Oct 01 |  UK News

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