In the Media

Couple who shot masked burglars will not be charged

PUBLISHED September 5, 2012

Andy and Tracey Ferrie were questioned by police for more than two days following the incident in Welby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, early on Sunday. The couple, the victims of three previous break-ins, were confronted in their bedroom by several men who had smashed their way into their home.

Using a legally held shotgun, one pulled the trigger on the intruders, leaving two with minor wounds.

The alleged burglars were detained after one attended hospital, while Mr and Mrs Ferrie were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, a move widely condemned within the quiet rural community. They were released on police bail yesterday pending further inquiries and feared that their plans to emigrate to Australia would be derailed. The Crown Prosecution Service announced last night that the Ferries had acted within the law, which allows people to use reasonable force to protect themselves, their family or their property.

In a statement, Judith Walker, the chief prosecutor for the East Midlands, said: "Looking at the evidence, it is clear to me that Mr and Mrs Ferrie did what they believed was necessary to protect themselves, and their home, from intruders.

"I am satisfied that this is a case where householders, faced with intruders in frightening circumstances, acted in reasonable self-defence. We have therefore advised Leicestershire Police that Mr and Mrs Ferrie should be released from their bail as they will not face any charges over what happened."

Mrs Ferrie's mother, Hazel Towell, 63, said: "It is a great relief. At last everybody has seen sense."

Daniel Mansell, 33, appeared in court yesterday and pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal at the couple's home.

Loughborough magistrates heard that Mr and Mrs Ferrie came face to face with the 6ft serial offender, who had a T-shirt wrapped around his face, after being woken by the sound of breaking glass.

Mansell, who was out of prison on licence after serving time for grievous bodily harm, later arrived at Leicester Royal Infirmary with a shotgun wound to the hand, the court heard. He claimed he had been acting on a tip-off that there was £70,000 in the house and it was being used as a cannabis farm. There was no evidence of cash or cannabis at the property, said Sally Cook, prosecuting. Mansell was remanded in custody.