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Murder accused Ben Field 'blamed dementia for fall'

Mr Field standing next to novelist Mr Farquhar Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Peter Farquhar (left) and Ben Field were engaged

A church warden accused of murdering a man he was engaged to told an NHS 111 operator dementia caused his injuries.

Oxford Crown Court heard Ben Field, 28, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, called for help for 69-year-old Peter Farquhar in September 2015.

Mr Field told the operator Mr Farquhar had fallen and struck his head.

Mr Field 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.

In a call to the NHS in September 2015, which was played to the court, Mr Field told the call handler: "He falls frequently because, err, you know something that's yet undiagnosed but it, it's probably a dementia."

The court was told Mr Field's plan was to kill Mr Farquhar and neighbour Ann Moore-Martin, 83, to benefit from their wills.

To make the pair think they were losing their minds he laced Mr Farquhar's food and drink with drugs and neat alcohol, jurors heard.

The court also heard Mr Field wrote religious messages on Ms Moore-Martin's mirrors which she believed were messages from God.

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

Mr Field is charged alongside Martyn Smith, 32, of Penhalvean, Redruth, Cornwall, who denies murder, conspiracy to murder, two charges of fraud and one of burglary.

Mr Field's brother, Tom Field, 24, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, denies a single charge of fraud.

The trial continues.

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