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Free Tony Martin exclusives show 'Mirror didn't have to pay'

The Eastern Daily Press has run its second exclusive interview with Tony Martin, the farmer jailed for killing a burglar at his home.

Neither was paid for by the newspaper – with editor Peter Franzen meeting strict guidelines on payments to convicted criminals set out by the Press Complaints Commission.

He also says the fact he got the story for free shows the Mirror was wrong to pay out £125,000 to Martin for his story, the national citing that the public interest surrounding the case allowed the Editors’ Code of Practice to be ignored.

The Mirror deal is currently being investigated by the Press Complaints Commission.

The EDP is running a series of interviews with the farmer this week, as he settles back home at his farm near Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

In his editorial column yesterday, Peter Franzen said: “The Eastern Daily Press offered no payment to Martin for his words – a point that’s not lost on the Press Complaints Commission which is currently investigating the Mirror deal.

“The code is not something that any newspaper should choose to ignore or abide by as suits its purpose. All that remains is for the PCC to come to the only possible conclusion and rule against the Mirror.”

He said the way his paper approached and worked with Tony Martin showed that payment was not the only way to break the story.

Reporter Nicki Walker tracked him down and after getting a message from her, called back and agreed to meet near his house – well away from the press pack camped outside.

She said he was relaxed, but met every question with a question – admitting there were few people who understood him.

He told her how the people of East Anglia had helped him through his darkest hours.

The heartfelt “thank you” came as he brushed aside rumours of death threats against him if he returned to his Bleak House home in West Norfolk.

He said that support from the local community had kept his spirits up during the three years he spent in prison for the manslaughter of 16-year-old Fred Barras.

  • A recent “exclusive” interview with Tony Martin run in the Daily Express on his release from prison first appeared in the EDP more than three years ago.

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