Beds, Herts & Bucks

Maids Moreton: Murder accused 'sent love poems to victim'

Ann Moore-Martin Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption The trial heard Ann Moore-Martin had told her family she loved Benjamin Field

A church warden sent love letters to the elderly neighbour of the man he was engaged to in order to "woo" her and benefit from her will, a court heard.

Benjamin Field, 28, was introduced by his partner Peter Farquhar to Ann Moore-Martin, who lived three doors away in Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire.

Mr Field and magician Martyn Smith are accused of murdering Mr Farquhar and planning to kill Ms Moore-Martin, 83.

The pair are on trial and deny murder and conspiracy to murder.

Oxford Crown Court heard Mr Field, a Baptist minister's son, sent letters and postcards to the retired headmistress as part of a year-long seduction.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption University lecturer Peter Farquhar, left, and church warden Benjamin Field, who is accused of his murder

Then aged 26, Mr Field wrote in one letter to Ms Moore-Martin: "Every time I have come to your house I have taken some things away with me.

"I have taken joy away in my breast pocket, close to my heart; I have smuggled your words out with me under my hat, close to my head; and I have carried the image of your gorgeous face with me in my trouser pockets."

A photo Mr Field had secretly taken of Ms Moore-Martin performing a sex act on him was shown to the jury.

As well as letters, he also sent her a framed photo of himself, which the court heard she kept on her dressing table as part of a "shrine" to him.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin lived three doors away from each other in Maids Moreton

Prosecutors allege Mr Field targeted Ms Moore-Martin a few months after allegedly murdering 69-year-old Mr Farquhar, who he had became engaged to in a plot to benefit from his will.

Mr Farquhar, a university lecturer and author, died in October 2015 while Ms Moore-Martin died of natural causes in May 2017.

The defendants are accused of plotting to make her death look like an accident, such as dying during sex, falling down the stairs and choking on her dentures, or suicide, having got her to change her will.

Mr Field, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, Buckinghamshire, denies murder, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, and possessing an article for use in fraud. 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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