Police tape

A homeowner has been arrested and is being questioned by police after shooting two suspected burglars at his countryside home in Leicestershire.

Andy Ferrie, 35, and his wife Tracey, 43, were arrested after a break-in at their home in the Welby area, near Melton Mowbray, in the early hours.

It is believed Ferrie shot two of the four intruders with his shotgun before calling the police. He was the legal owner of the weapon.

Neither of the two suspected burglars suffered life-threatening injuries in the shooting.

One man with shotgun injuries was treated near Ferrie's home and a second man was treated for injuries after presenting himself at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The homeowners were not injured but were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

Police said that four men aged 27, 23, 31 and 33 were arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

Rutland and Melton MP Alan Duncan defended the Ferries and said they should not be prosecuted for defending their property.

He said: "If this is a straightforward case of someone using a shotgun to defend themselves against burglars in the dead of night, then I would hope that the police will prosecute the burglars and not my constituents.

"The householder is the victim here and justice should support them and prosecute the burglars."

Mr Ferris's mother, Susan Spilner, told the Sun that the house, which is in a remote spot, has been broken into before. "They have been robbed three or four times. One of them was quite nasty," she said.

"They have not been injured but property has been stolen."

The case echoes other incidents that have sparked debate into the amount of force a homeowner should use to protect himself and his property.

In 1999, farmer Tony Martin was given a life sentence for shooting 16-year-old burglar Fred Burras in the back at his remote Norfolk farm. His charge was later reduced to manslaughter and he served three years in prison.

In 2009, millionaire businessman Munir Hussain left an intruder with brain damage after he beat him with a cricket bat after the burglar held up his family at knifepoint. He was originally sentenced to 30 months in prison, later reduced to 12 months with two years suspended.

Prime Minister David Cameron has previously said that invaders "leave their human rights outside" when they break into property and homeowners should only face prosecution if they use "grossly disproportionate force".