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£50,000 raised to help farmer accused of killing burglar

Robert Lomas

A fundraising campaign to help support the family of a farmer accused of shooting dead a suspected burglar has exceeded £50,000 in just a few days.

Police were called to reports of a burglary at a property in Eccles Road at around 1.20am, last Tuesday.

At the scene a man was found to have sustained fatal gunshot wounds. He was later identified as Marcus Smith, 19, of nearby Chapel-en-le-Frith.

A second man, who is in his teens, was found with a gunshot wound nearby in the same road. He remains in hospital, but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Farmer Robert Lomas, named locally, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder and remains in police custody.

Organiser Joshua Lomas said: "We are raising much needed funds to support our family and my father, Rob, through this very difficult time.

"Rob has the most steadfast loyalty you could ever wish for in a father and friend and has always been there for me, and all of his many friends.

"As every farmer does, he works relentlessly in all weathers, but always makes time for a brew and a friendly humorous chat.

"During the early hours of the 1st May, Rob encountered intruders inside his property, having had a burglary the night prior also. 

"Rob, Kate (his partner) and I now need help in the coming weeks.

"That's why we need your kind and extremely valuable help.

"Please donate anything you are able to - every pound is hugely appreciated."

By this afternoon (Monday) more than £51,000 had been donated, against a target of £20,000.

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