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New meeting on Tony Martin case to be held in King's Lynn

The author of a book on Norfolk farmer Tony Martin has claimed it was “very obvious” to him during research that Mr Martin did not commit murder in August 1999.

Brian Pead, author of ‘Tony Martin: The Truth - Miscarriages of Justice Re-Investigated’ will be holding a public meeting at the Duke’s Head Hotel in Lynn.

The meeting will take place in the hotel’s ballroom next Friday (November 15) from 2-5pm and 6-9pm.

Tony Martin. (21119731)
Tony Martin. (21119731)

Ahead of the talk, Mr Pead said there were missing witness statements from Mr Martin’s trial in 2000 in which he was convicted of murdering 16-year-old Fred Barras as well as wounding Brendan Fearon.

This was later reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

However, Mr Pead said that having written the book, he is convinced Mr Martin was “imprisoned wrongfully”.

He added: “Mr Martin wants to clear his name. He is 75 next month and wants to go to America to see the giant redwood trees there as a big passion of his.

“But of course they won’t let him in because of these convictions which I think were wrongly obtained.”

As part of the research for his book, which took Mr Pead six years, he came across “more and more anomalies” from the trial of Mr Martin.

These included a witness statement from John Dolan three days after the shooting incident saying Fred Barras was 70 miles away in Newark at the time the farmer fired his gun, which was not read in court.

Another witness statement reportedly left out was from John Spalton, a former police constable who saw Brendan Fearon covered in blood at 11.30pm near to the farm.

Mr Pead explained: “Timings are crucial here. Tony fired his gun between 8.30pm and 9pm. He did not hit anyone; he was shooting into darkness and there was a separate shooting incident later on.

“Fearon would have been dead a long time before 11.30pm if Tony had shot him.”

Mr Pead said the crime scene was not tested for firearms discharge residue or blood spatter.

He used a medical report for his book from Dr Alastair Wilson, of the Royal London Hospital, which stated Barras would still be alive today if he had received medical attention at the time.

The report claims Barras did not die of a gunshot wound to the chest, but rather relapsed with pneumothorax following a gunshot wound.

The author also spent “hundreds of hours” interviewing Mr Martin for the book in which he found his interviewee to be a “very complex man”.

“The mask he presents to the world is not a true one. Underneath his defences, he is entertaining, witty, knowledgeable and he has a very good view of the way society functions at present in my mind,” Mr Pead said.

When writing the book, he felt sadness that Mr Martin was inprisoned, saying “no-one should have their liberty deprived”.

A public meeting will also take place by the author in the ballroom of the Elme Hall Hotel in Wisbech on Saturday (November 9) from 2-5pm and 6-9pm.

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