Beds, Herts & Bucks

Maids Moreton murder accused Benjamin Field admits fraud

Peter Farquhar Image copyright Amazon
Image caption Peter Farquhar was a guest lecturer at the University of Buckingham

A church warden accused of plotting the murders of two pensioners has admitted conning them into believing he was in a "genuine, caring relationship" with them in order to defraud them.

University guest lecturer Peter Farquhar, 69, and retired head teacher Ann Moore-Martin, 83, were found dead in Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire.

At the Old Bailey, Benjamin Field, 28, admitted fraud via video link.

But he and Martyn Smith, 32, deny conspiring to murder the pair.

They also deny the murder of Mr Farquhar and the attempted murder of Ms Moore-Martin, conspiracy to defraud by dishonestly causing the pensioners to make one or both of them beneficiaries of their wills, and having a copy of another woman's will for fraud.

Detectives launched a murder inquiry more than two years after the death in October 2015 of Mr Farquhar, a guest lecturer at the University of Buckingham, and seven months after the death in May 2017 of Ms Moore-Martin.

The pair had lived three doors from each other in the Buckinghamshire village.

Mr Field, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, Buckinghamshire, admitted fraud by making representations to Mr Farquhar and Ms Moore-Martin that he "knew were or might be untrue or misleading", that he was "in a genuine, caring relationship" with them.

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

He admitted fraud by claiming to Ms Moore-Martin that he needed £4,400 for a new car, and that his brother Tom Field was suffering from a kidney ailment so severe he needed a dialysis machine.

He also pleaded guilty to two burglaries in which he stole a bottle of Drambuie, three rifles and a bayonet.

Magician Mr Smith, of Penhalvean, near Redruth, Cornwall, denied three counts of fraud and involvement in the theft of the rifles and bayonet.

Tom Field, 24, also of Wellingborough Road, Olney, denied a single fraud charge.

The trial is due to begin on 30 April.

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