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Burglar Sues Victim

The burglar who was injured by Tony Martin after breaking into his home is to sue the farmer for 15,000 compensation for loss of earnings, it emerged yesterday.

The man, who was shot in the raid in Norfolk, is seeking the money because he claims he cannot find work, enjoy sex, or pursue his martial arts hobby.

Martin received details of the compensation claim last week at Highpoint prison in Suffolk, where he is serving a five-year sentence for killing the burglar's 16-year-old accomplice, Fred Barras, and wounding the burglar. The surviving burglar suffered shotgun wounds to his legs and groin.

The man admits in the legal claim that when he travelled to the farmhouse he "intended to burgle the property". But the writ says that because of reading and writing difficulties he has "only ever managed to find unskilled manual work" and is now "at a disadvantage in the labour market" because of the injuries to his legs.

The writ is accompanied by a psychiatric report which says the man feels "tearful, especially if he sees a film where someone dies". He has also complained of being scared of fireworks and has had to give up jujitsu and kick-boxing.

He has obtained 5,000 of legal aid for his damages claim, which could lead to Martin forfeiting his farm. Malcolm Starr, a supporter of Martin, said the farmer had been "upset" by the delivery of the writ so close to Christmas, which he will spend in prison.

"This is laughable. The burglar is in a no-lose situation," he said. "If he burgles you and takes something valuable, the police will never find him. If you catch him in the act, he will sue you."

The burglar claims that he had become depressed and attempted suicide after the shooting. He served 18 months of a three-year sentence for his part in the attempted burglary. He was released last August and returned home to Newark, Nottinghamshire. His solicitors told Martin in June the burglar was suing. The farmer launched a counterclaim for damages.

Martin's mother Hilary said yesterday: "It is absolutely ridiculous that he is planning to do this. We are living in a country which is crazy, with crazy laws and no idea about what is right and wrong."

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