Tony Martins' mother - 'My heartache'

The elderly mother of Tony Martin has spoken of her heartache over recent events surrounding her son's case. Hilary Martin, 88, who is suffering from ill-health, said recent coverage of her son's release had left her exhausted.

The elderly mother of Tony Martin has spoken of her heartache over recent events surrounding her son's case.

Hilary Martin, 88, who is suffering from ill-health, said recent coverage of her son's release had left her exhausted.

Despite Mr Martin's release more than two weeks ago, it is claimed he has not made contact with his mother.

Mrs Martin, who lives in Elm, near Wisbech, said: "I just don't know how much more of this I can cope with. I cannot say anymore, it's terrible."

It is understood Mr Martin's elder brother Robin, 66, has spent time at his mother's recently, and he has claimed his mother has still not heard from the 58-year-old farmer.

Mrs Martin would not say whether she had spoken to her son, Tony.

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Yesterday, Tony Martin's aunt, who is staying with Mrs Martin, visited Bleak House, in Emneth Hungate, near Wisbech, to find out if the farmer had returned home.

Mr Martin returned to his dilapidated farm for the first time since he shot dead a teenage burglar at the property four years ago.

Despite saying all he had wanted was to get home, he stayed away from the house throughout the weekend.

He is thought to have spent the time visiting various friends in West Norfolk.

Malcolm Starr, a supporter of Mr Martin, has spoken to him recently and said the farmer still planned to return to Bleak House and get on with his work, once the media had departed.

Throughout the weekend, friends visited the farm to carry out work on the land.

The interest in Mr Martin remains, and there has been talk of a number of TV offers.

It is believed that Mr Martin will look at an offer from a TV company to transform Bleak House in a primetime makeover show.

Mr Starr said Mr Martin would consider an offer for Bleak House to be the subject of a home and garden show.

"There has been an approach from a station, which wants to film a makeover show at the farm, and it will be put to Tony when everything is on the table," he said.

"With everything there is to be done, you'd think there would be enough material for an entire 12-week series."

Channel Five is believed to have been behind the bid for the show, which would be based on turning the rundown Bleak House into a luxury country house.

It is also claimed that bosses at Granada want to hire him as a consultant for a film, and there is a suggestion Mr Martin could be played by veteran actor David Hemmings in the £1.5m project.

Friends who visited Mr Martin over the weekend have said he had been distressed at how badly the property had fallen into disrepair.

Though he told them he was delighted to have returned to his home, Mr Martin admitted he faced a huge task to restore proper living conditions.

It is believed the farmer hopes to make alterations to the main farmhouse, which has sealed-off windows and is cloaked in ivy, and a host of rundown outbuildings, many of which are rat-infested.

Mr Martin was jailed for shooting dead 16-year-old Fred Barras in August 1999. He was originally jailed for life after being convicted of murder in 2000. The conviction was overturned on appeal and reduced to manslaughter.

Martin served two-thirds of a five-year sentence and was released at the end of last month.

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