Beds, Herts & Bucks

Murder accused Ben Field 'snaketalked' way into home

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

A church warden described himself as a sociopath who had "snaketalked" his way into the home of a lecturer he is accused of killing, a court has heard.

Ben Field, 28, and Martyn Smith, 32, are accused of planning the deaths of Peter Farquhar, 69, and Ann Moore-Martin, 83, in Buckinghamshire.

Oxford Crown Court heard that Mr Field described his complicated love life in chat logs on his computer.

The accused pair deny murder and conspiracy to murder.

The prosecution allege that Mr Field, the son of a Baptist minister, murdered lecturer Mr Farquhar in 2015 with help from magician Mr Smith.

They are also accused of plotting to kill Mr Farquhar's neighbour, Miss Moore-Martin, in the village of Maids Moreton in order to benefit from their wills.

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

Mr Farquhar died in October 2015, while Miss Moore-Martin, a retired teacher, died in May 2017.

The court heard Mr Field told a friend he had a "struck a deal" to live with Mr Farquhar, who was also a novelist and former English teacher.

Oliver Saxby QC, prosecuting, read extracts of chat logs recovered by police from Mr Field's laptop in which he revealed his life was getting complicated as he juggled living with Mr Farquhar and also secretly seeing work colleague Nina Eriksen-Grey.

In the logs, he was said to have described a situation where he could "snaketalk" his way into "an old man's house like a sociopath".

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Peter Farquhar was a guest lecturer at the University of Buckingham

Mr Field and Mr Smith deny murder, conspiracy to murder and possession of an article for the use in fraud.

Mr Field, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, Buckinghamshire, also denies an alternative charge of attempted murder. He has admitted four charges of fraud and two of burglary.

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

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

The trial continues.

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