Tony Martin confronts burglar trying to steal tractor batteries from his Fenland farm

Tony Martin on his farm at Emneth Hungate. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Tony Martin on his farm at Emneth Hungate. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

TONY Martin, the farmer who shot two burglars on his remote Fenland farm almost 13 years ago, confronted a thief yesterday who was trying to steal tractor batteries.

Tony Martin.

Tony Martin. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Mr Martin, 68, said he saw a silver Transit van parked outside a barn on his property at Emneth Hungate, near Wisbech, yesterday afternoon.

Tony Martin.

Tony Martin. - Credit: Matthew Usher

He said as he approached the shed, a man came out carrying two batteries. When Mr Martin challenged the man, he dropped the £90 batteries, ruining one of them.

“He just backed the vehicle up and blatantly went in the barn,” said Mr Martin, who turned a pump-action shotgun on two thieves in 1999, killing one and wounding the other.

“I asked him what he was doing and he just threw them down on the ground - it’s spoiled one of them - and cleared off. It was a brand new battery, he just threw it on the ground and that was that.”

Petty thief Fred Barras, 16, died in August 1999, after Mr Martin confronted him in the kitchen of his farmhouse.

He had broken into the ivy-covered building with his accomplice Brendan Fearon, then 28, who was wounded in the shooting but managed to crawl across the fields to raise the alarm.

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Mr Martin was jailed after being found guilty of murdering Barras. But he was released after the conviction was reduced to manslaughter on appeal.

Police said: “Police were called to reports of an attempted burglary of outbuildings at a property in Wisbech at about 1.20pm yesterday, Thursday, May 9. Inquiries are ongoing.”

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