Ninth arrest after Crimewatch farm death appeal

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Julian Gardner
Image caption,
Police believe Julian Gardner was killed during a burglary that went wrong

A ninth person has been arrested over the death of a Sussex businessman.

Julian Gardner, 53, died from multiple injuries in October after apparently disturbing intruders in outbuildings at Bush Barn Farm, near Robertsbridge.

Sussex Police said a man attended an Eastbourne custody centre claiming to be the person shown on CCTV footage broadcast in an appeal on BBC's Crimewatch programme.

The arrested man is being questioned by detectives.

Earlier, police said the appeal to find the killers of Mr Gardner had sparked encouraging leads.

Eight people have been arrested after the discovery of the businessman's body on 11 October.

A post-mortem examination found he suffered compression-type injuries, possibly caused when he was crushed between two vehicles.

During the BBC programme, Mr Gardner's 91-year-old mother, who was asleep in the main farmhouse at the time of his death, appealed to the killers.

Molly Gardner said: "I would say, 'was what you gained worth a life?'"

'People gossip'

Police have already arrested and bailed seven men, six from Kent and one from north Wales, and a woman from Kent.

A £10,000 reward has been offered by police for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Police also appealed for information on a missing Breda shotgun, used by licensed firearms owner Mr Gardner for clay pigeon shooting.

Officers also want to hear about sightings of his stolen Land Rover Defender - found burnt out in Cripps Corner - and of a Cherokee Jeep which may have been used in the raid, later found burnt out in Sandhurst.

A dark blue Subaru Legacy car, registration P304 MOO, was also recovered by police from the car park of the Crusade pub in Ashford and detectives are keen to trace the owner's movements before and after the murder.

Det Ch Insp Adam Hibbert said he still wanted anyone with information, however small, to contact detectives.

"Someone must know the people who committed this crime.

"People gossip. Whether it is the cars, the computer, vehicle parts or tools, something will link those responsible to the murder scene.

"I hope the reward will prompt someone to come forward."

Police have said inquiries into Mr Gardner's background found nothing to suggest he might have been the victim of a grudge attack.

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