Beds, Herts & Bucks

Maids Moreton murder accused: 'I'll get away with it'

Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin lived three doors away from each other in the Buckinghamshire village of Maids Moreton

A man accused of murdering an author and plotting to kill a former headmistress said, "I think I will get away with most of it," a court heard.

A jury was told Benjamin Field seduced both Peter Farquhar, 69, and Ann Moore-Martin, 83, in Buckinghamshire, to benefit from their wills.

He planned to kill them and enlisted the help of Martyn Smith to make the deaths look accidental, a court heard.

Both men deny murder and conspiracy to murder.

Oxford Crown Court heard Mr Field, a Baptist minister's son, and Mr Smith, a magician, were secretly recorded while being transported to High Wycombe Magistrates Court on 12 January 2018.

Mr Field said: "I think I will get away with most of it.

"The two major charges I'm not worried about even slightly...They don't have any evidence."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Peter Farquhar lived at the house circled on the left, and Ann Moore-Martin on the right

Prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC said: "It is not the language of an innocent, incredulous person, but it is instead the language of an arrogant, guilty person."

Mr Farquhar and Miss Moore-Martin lived three doors from each other in the village of Maids Moreton and were both deeply religious.

Jurors were told Mr Farquhar was "torn" by his sexuality because of his Christian beliefs.

Before his death in October 2015, Mr Farquhar took part in a gay "betrothal" ceremony, similar to an engagement, with Mr Field, the court heard.

Prosecutors allege Mr Field intended on making Mr Farquhar and Miss Moore-Martin believe they were losing their minds.

The court heard Mr Farquhar's drinks were topped up with bioethanol and his food was laced with drugs, while "messages from God" were written on mirrors in Miss Moore-Martin's home.

Mr Field planned for Miss Moore-Martin to die during sex after he began a relationship with her, the court was told previously.

Police began investigating after she was admitted to hospital after having a seizure and confided in her niece about her relationship with Mr Field and the writing on her mirrors.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Peter Farquhar changed his will so Benjamin Field would inherit his home, pictured

During a search of Mr Field's home, officers found a copy of the novel Young Poisoner's Handbook, a booklet entitled End Of Life and a book about planning suicide.

Miss Moore-Martin died of natural causes in May 2017.

Mr Field, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, Buckinghamshire, denies murder, conspiracy to murder, possessing an article for the use in fraud and an alternative charge of attempted murder. He has admitted four charges of fraud and two of burglary.

His brother Tom Field, 24, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, Buckinghamshire, denies a single charge of fraud.

Mr Smith, of Penhalvean, Redruth, Cornwall, denies murder, conspiracy to murder, two charges of fraud and one of burglary.

The trial continues.

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