The farmer once jailed for killing a burglar was being voluntarily assessed in hospital as a “precaution” yesterday after confronting another crook on his property.
Tony Martin, 67, was convicted of murder after he shot a burglar dead during a raid on his Norfolk home in 1999.
The conviction caused widespread controversy and it was later reduced to manslaughter on appeal.
On Thursday, 14 years after the incident Mr. Martin found another intruder trying to steal car batteries from one of his outbuildings at Emneth Hungate.
The man fled and Mr. Martin – who said he still has weapons at his house – decided not to chase him.
The following day Mr Martin took himself to a police station in Wisbech, Cambs., after telling friends he was “worried about what he might do.”
He was last night undergoing a mental health assessment at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.
Close friend Malcolm Starr, 63, said: “One person would be scared of being burgled, but he is absolutely terrified.
“He is obsessed with it. He is so conscious of it happening again.
“Anyone else would think after 14 years that everything is back to normal. But Tony doesn’t feel that.
“He reacts differently to how other people would because of his Asperger’s.
“I think he went to the police as a precaution. He was worried about what he might do. He probably felt like he didn’t know which way to go.
“I have never heard him so down. I wonder if he is going to change his lifestyle. It is almost as if he has given in.
“I just hope he doesn’t do anything stupid.”
Mr. Starr added: “Anyone of us who gets burgled might pick up a piece of wood and have a go at them, but Tony cannot do that – he would be immediately arrested.”
Before going to police Mr. Martin said he had challenged the intruder who dropped one of the new #90 batteries but decided not to chase him.
He said: “I couldn’t face going through all that again.
“I wished I had but, after everything I’ve been through in the past, I just couldn’t face all that hassle again.
“It isn’t the first time it’s happened since I’ve been out of prison – it’s happened two or three times.
“I haven’t changed my views about what happened in 1999 but the whole experience has made me lose faith in the system and I didn’t want to be made out as the criminal again.”
He added: “There were weapons inside the shed so, if I had wanted to fight him off, I could have.”
Mr Martin was living alone at his farmhouse – nicknamed Bleak House – when he was burgled in 1999, fired his shotgun three times towards the intruders.
He caught Fred Barras, 16, and Brendon Fearon, then 29, inside his house and Fred died from his injuries.
Mr Martin was jailed for nine years for murder, but on appeal his sentence was reduced to three years.
Last year Justice Secretary Chris Grayling announced that the legal bar on what could be considered “proportionate” force would be raised.
He added that this could give householders who react with force when confronted by burglars more legal protection.
Police were called to the attempted raid at Mr. Martin’s farm and said investigations were still ongoing.