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.”


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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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