York & North Yorkshire

Farmer lodges formal complaint over shooting arrest

Farmer, Bill Edwards
Image caption Mr Edwards was on police bail for four months after the incident in August 2012

A farmer who fired a shotgun at a burglar on his land has made a formal complaint to police about how his case was investigated.

Bill Edwards, from Scarborough, was accused of attempted murder by police following the incident in August 2012.

Proceedings against the 21-year-old, who said he had acted in self-defence, were dropped four months later.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed a formal investigation had begun into how it had handled the case.

Mr Edwards and his mother had disturbed intruders on their land at Riggs Head near Scarborough.

'Huge impact'

He said one of the intruders drove a van at them so he fired a shotgun at the vehicle.

The police arrested one of the thieves but also held Mr Edwards in a cell overnight.

A man later pleaded guilty to one charge of theft and was fined £100 by magistrates in Scarborough.

Mr Edwards said he had made the complaint because he wanted answers about how the police had conducted the case.

"It has had a huge impact on my life," he said. "I've spent four months thinking I was going to be charged with attempted murder. I have also been on bail conditions which have made working very difficult."

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "As the force has received a formal complaint regarding the way the investigation of the incident was handled, it would not be appropriate to comment at this stage."

The spokesman said the complaint was being dealt with by the force's Professional Standards Department.

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