Farm shooting couple will not face charges

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The Independent Online

A couple who were arrested after a shooting incident during a burglary at their home will not face criminal charges, because they did what was "necessary" to protect themselves and their home, prosecutors announced last night.

Andy and Tracey Ferrie were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm after a legally owned shotgun was fired during a break-in at their home in Welby, Leicestershire, on Sunday. Two men were injured.

Judith Walker, the chief crown prosecutor for the East Midlands, said she was satisfied that the couple acted in reasonable self-defence. "The law is clear that anyone who acts in good faith, using reasonable force, doing what they honestly feel is necessary to protect themselves, their families or their property, will not be prosecuted for such action," she said.

The couple were held in custody for three days and released on police bail on Tuesday as police announced that two men had been charged with burgling the property near Melton Mowbray. Ms Walker confirmed that Leicestershire Police had been advised to release the couple from their bail. Two men yesterday appeared at Loughborough Magistrates' Court charged with burglary.

Daniel Mansell, 33, from Leicester, pleaded guilty to the offence and was remanded in custody to be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on September 25. Joshua O'Gorman, 27, who is also charged with burglary, gave no indication of a plea and was remanded in custody to reappear before magistrates on September 14.

The court heard that Mr Ferrie, 35, and his 43-year-old wife went to bed at 10.15pm on Saturday and were woken hours later by banging and the sound of breaking glass.

Sally Cook, prosecuting, said: "It is no secret that a shotgun was fired at the property."

Alan Duncan, the MP Rutland and Melton, who had spoken out against the Ferries being prosecuted, said: "I'm delighted the CPS has seen sense and exonerated them. The law has worked and so has the system."