Martin team lodges conviction appeal on killing

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The Independent Online

Tony Martin's lawyers launched their appeal against his conviction for murdering a teenage burglar yesterday, claiming the "jury's verdict could not be rational".

They say the judge failed to properly explain self-defence and the prosecution "changed tack" mid-trial. The farmer's lawyers also insist that "a fair trial was not possible in an atmosphere of intimidation of both witnesses and jury".

M&S Solicitors, which represent Martin, said they may seek an injunction against Norwich Crown Court. "We have also heard the local court in Norwich has been discouraging people from contacting us in connection with witnesses or jurors being intimidated," said Martin's solicitor, Nick Makin. "If it turns out to be correct, we will probably go for an injunction against the local court."

Mr Makin said he was visiting Martin, serving life at Bullingdon Prison near Bicester, Oxfordshire, to go through the Court of Appeal notice.

Despite several claims that members of the jury felt frightened, no one has yet come forward to make an official report.

Martin was found guilty last week of murdering Fred Barras, 16. He was also convicted of wounding Brendon Fearon, 30, with intent to do grievous bodily harm and admitted possession of a pump-action shotgun without a certificate.