Farmer cleared after shooting burglars

A disabled farmer arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after shooting two burglars raiding a cannabis farm on his property that he did not know existed has been cleared after a three-month investigation.

Edward Tibbs, 62, was trying to kill a fox when he accidentally shot and wounded the two raiders after firing into the darkness from the seat of his mobility scooter after being woken in the early hours of 19 August.

He was aiming at a fox trying to steal geese from an enclosure on his 650-acre arable farm in Crays Hill, Billericay, Essex. The farmer, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and neuralgia, says he had no idea he had injured the men until armed police stormed his home.

The two men, aged 27 and 30, arrived at hospital with gunshot wounds to their legs and backs.

Police discovered a cannabis factory had been set up in a rented outbuilding on Mr Tibbs's farm and it was thought that the men were attempting to burgle it when they were shot.

The injured men were arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm but were later released without charge.