Police release two held over farm killing

Two men have been released on bail by detectives investigating the killing of a man during a bungled robbery at his farm.







A 39-year-old man from Ashford, Kent, and a 43-year-old man from Maidstone were arrested yesterday on suspicion of murdering Julian Gardner, and bailed to February 2.



Mr Gardner, 53, suffered multiple injuries after disturbing intruders at Bush Barn Farm in Robertsbridge, East Sussex, where he ran an agricultural and car repair business.



Detectives believe he was woken by a noise and set off to investigate, taking a shotgun with him, before confronting a gang as they ransacked his workshop in the early hours of October 11.



His body was found by his business partner later that day.



One theory is that the compression-type injuries Mr Gardner sustained were caused when he was crushed between two vehicles.



Eleven people have now been arrested by Sussex Police's major crime branch but so far no one has been charged with Mr Gardner's killing.



A £10,000 reward has been offered by officers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.



During a reconstruction on the BBC's Crimewatch programme last week, Mr Gardner's mother Molly Gardner, 91, appealed directly to the consciences of her son's killers and asked: "I would say, was what you gained worth a life?"



Other appeals made on the programme were for a missing Breda shotgun, used by licensed firearms owner Mr Gardner for clay pigeon shooting, and sightings of his Land Rover Defender, which was stolen and found burnt-out in Cripps Corner, near Battle, and of a Cherokee Jeep, which had been in for repair at his business and was also found burnt-out hours after the killing, in Sandhurst, Kent, a few miles from the farm.



A dark blue Subaru Legacy car, registration P304 MOO, was also recovered by police from the car park of The Crusader pub in Ashford.



Property stolen from Mr Gardner included a Dell computer, taken from his workshop, vehicle parts, spray guns, tyres, wheels, drills and chainsaws.



Police have said inquiries into Mr Gardner's background found nothing to suggest he might have been the victim of a grudge attack.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks