Burglar shot by Martin is sent back to prison

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The Independent Online

An inquiry has been ordered into why Brendon Fearon, the burglar suing Tony Martin for injuries inflicted when the farmer shot him, was allowed to remain free for 11 days despite police having evidence suggesting he had breached a curfew order.

Fearon, 33, was back in jail last night. He was arrested at 2am yesterday and recalled to prison by the Home Office after he appeared before magistrates in Newark, Nottinghamshire, accused of taking a Toyota Landcruiser without the owner's consent and driving without insurance.

The court was told that Fearon should have been observing a 7pm until 7am home curfew when the offences are said to have been committed in Newark on 24 August. A police officer is believed to have said he saw him in a car.

Fearon was freed from an 18-month jail term under licence and on condition he observed the order. He had been convicted of supplying heroin and served six months.

An urgent review of the case has been ordered by Home Office officials - who have informed David Blunkett, the Home Secretary - after they learnt the police did not appear to have told the probation service of the alleged breach. They also want to know why Nottinghamshire Police did not arrest the suspect until 11 days after the alleged incident.

The Prison Service's sentence enforcement unit is investigating the case. A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We have asked Nottinghamshire Police to look into the circumstances of the case and his rearrest. The Prison Service are talking to the probation service and Nottinghamshire Police to find out what has happened."

Fearon, who was wounded by Martin in the raid on the farmer's home, spoke only to confirm his name and address at yesterday's hearing and did not enter a plea. Magistrates ordered him to return to court on 25 September. Fearon, from Newark, was transferred to Lincoln prison last night.

He is suing Martin for £15,000, claiming the injuries he suffered to his legs and back from shotgun wounds during the break-in at Bleak House in Emneth, Norfolk, had left him unable to work. He has already received £5,000 in legal aid to fight the case. It is expected to be heard at the High Court early next year.

Fearon was filmed last month by an undercover crew, walking his dog, walking up steps and riding his bike with no apparent difficulty.