Significant Shorts : Farmer wins murder conviction retrial

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The Independent Online
A farmer who claims he was wrongly convicted of attempted murder because his mental state was affected by sheep insecticide poisoning, yesterday won the right to a retrial. Robert Billings, 60, of Warninglid, West Sussex, jailed for 12 years in December 1994, will remain in custody pending the retrial.

Billings severely wounded a labourer, George Foster, who lived in a caravan on his farm, by firing a shotgun at him.Yesterday, defence lawyers put forward reports from a specialist in the effects of organophosphate (OP) poisoning, who said it could lead to uncontrollable rages which were completely out of character, especially when combined with alcohol intoxication. Billings had worked with OP sheep dip and had been dipping sheep on the day before the shooting.

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