[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 25 July, 2003, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Martin determined to return home
Tony Martin (inset) and his farmhouse
Tony Martin may be back at his farm within a week of his release
Jailed farmer Tony Martin is determined to return to his farmhouse despite its rundown condition.

Supporters of the Norfolk farmer say he plans to renovate Bleak House in the village of Emneth Hungate after he is released from prison on Monday.

The farmer has been moved from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk to a secret location prior to his release

He is still officially in the custody of the prison service until Monday and is likely to move back the farm a week later.

The isolated farmhouse is surrounded by overgrown plants and trees, ivy covers the roof, and the windows are boarded up.

'Woman's touch'

But Martin, jailed for manslaughter for shooting dead an intruder, has already had a number of offers to help renovate his home.

Peter Sainsbury, general secretary of the charity POW Trust, which is supporting Martin, said: "Lots of people have offered to help him, including a local builder. I don't think there will be any problems at all."

The way he's talking he is going back and seems to be more concerned about his crops and his dog.
Malcolm Starr, Tony Martin's friend
Former Conservative MP Teresa Gorman, a patron of the charity, has also offered assistance.

"Through Mr Sainsbury I said I was prepared to offer to help to get his house ready physically as it looked sad and neglected, " she said.

"It seemed to me that it could do with a woman's touch, and he lives alone."

The 58-year-old farmer's friend, Malcolm Starr, said Martin wants to do all of the work on Bleak House himself.

"He is used to it looking like that and I don't think anyone should judge him about it as he has the right to and isn't breaking any law," he said.

Safety concerns

"The way he's talking he is going back and seems to be more concerned about his crops and his dog."

He added: "Although I have tried to explain there will be a lot of people, especially the media, around all the time, but he's ignoring that."

Martin's farm, on which he grows corn, and the apple orchards have been worked and tended to by contractors during his time in jail, said Mr Starr.

However, police are concerned for Martin's safety.

Mr Sainsbury added: "The police have a job to do and Tony Martin needs to be careful and all the local community and his friends will support and back him and he is going into a comfort zone in my view."

Mr Sainsbury said Martin is unlikely to return to the house next week.

Martin shot dead 16-year-old Fred Barras from Newark and wounded Brendan Fearon during a burglary at his farm in August 1999 .

The BBC's Richard Bilton
"The threats are being treated seriously"

Drug dealer Fearon released from jail
25 Jul 03  |  Nottinghamshire
Farmer Martin may write book
23 Jul 03  |  Norfolk
Siren given to protect Martin
19 Jul 03  |  Norfolk
MP urges legal aid review
24 Jun 03  |  Devon
Martin to fight compensation claim
14 Jun 03  |  Norfolk
Burglar sues farmer
23 Dec 02  |  England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific