(Britain) Farmer robbed - and police confiscate his shotgun
Farmer robbed - and police confiscate his shotgun
Jan 19 2006
By Alex Adams
TWYFORD strawberry farmer Eric Jarnet is fuming after police confiscated his shotgun on his 70th birthday because they feared he might emulate Norfolk farmer Tony Martin.
Mr Martin became a national figure after the shotgun killing of a burglar at his farmhouse.
An exasperated Mr Jarnet publicly admitted he might "do a Martin" after raiders stole hundreds of yards of irrigation piping from his 25-acre Twyford Fruit Farm in London Road, effectively putting him out of business.
Moments after he made his remarks police arrived to seize his shotgun, for which he has a licence.
Mr Jarnet said: "The thieves have all the rights in the world. Even if I had a dog here and he bit an intruder he would have to be put down.
"And years ago we had the gypsies on my land, and all the layabouts on their motorbikes and quad bikes, who cost us a fortune.
"And they keep breaking into the farm shop run by my tenants, so why put up with it?
"I have had enough especially as it happened on my 70th birthday. I will go to America and then I can have my gun and a licence."
Mr Jarnet added: "Residents and farmers have no protection and the police have just proved my point about how far will somebody be pushed into doing a Martin up in Norfolk.
"He was pushed too far. Nobody is saying he did the right thing, and I did not make a specific threat to a specific person.
"I was asking if a person could be pushed too far and when a person could be pushed too far.
"I gave up my gun voluntarily because there's no point in antagonising the police.
"The police and the judges are not doing anything to protect us.
"The policeman took the gun and he hid it under his coat. If it was all legal and above board why did he have to hide it under his coat?
"They have overreacted and they have proved they are protecting the villains.
"In other words, they are saying 'you come on Mr Jarnet's land, at least he can't shoot you.'"
Police spokesman Tim Wiseman said: "If anyone is making these public comments then we have a duty to check them out. Firearms, particularly in West Berkshire, are a sensitive issue.
"Concerns were passed to police following comments Mr Jarnet made on a local radio station. Thames Valley Police have a duty to make sure that no risk exists.
"We obviously had to respond to this and a firearms inquiries officer went round, and Mr Jarnet surrendered his gun."