Controversial Tony Martin case recreated for TV drama shown last night
The controversial case of an Emneth farmer convicted of murder after shooting and killing a teenage burglar was recreated for a TV drama shown last night (Sunday, November 18).
The Interrogation of Tony Martin, shown on Channel 4 and starring Steve Pemberton in the title role, was watched by millions across the country.
It retold the 1999 case of Emneth Hungate farmer Tony Martin who was jailed for the murder of 16-year-old Fred Barras.
The conviction was later downgraded to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.
He was released on good behaviour after serving three years in 2003.
The case divided opinion, with those who believed Martin was acting in self-defence against two intruders – the other being 29-year-old Brendan Fearon who was wounded – in his home, and those who felt Martin reacted too harshly.
Every word in the hour-long drama, created by Story Films, was taken verbatim from police interviews or witness statements.
Martin himself even made an appearance in the last five minutes of the programme, filmed at his former home this summer, which he said he hasn't been inside of since the incident almost 20 years ago.
The reaction on social media seemed to show the majority of viewers were in support of Martin, and felt he was within his rights to act in self-defence.
On Twitter Beth English said: "Tony Martin didn't only defend himself but the whole village.
"He is a credit to our village. Not a criminal #TonyMartin."
But not everyone felt the same way.
Matthew Padfield said: "If you watched The Interrogation of Tony Martin and you still think he was a scared farmer backed into a corner, who had no choice but to defend himself. Well, then you're deluded.
"It's not self-defence to shoot someone in the back from five yards with an illegal pump action shotgun."