Beds, Herts & Bucks

Maids Moreton: Murder accused 'unaffected' by death

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, who is accused of his murder

A church warden accused of murdering a university lecturer he was engaged to was "strangely unaffected" by his death, a court has heard.

Benjamin Field, 28, murdered Peter Farquhar and planned to kill his neighbour Anne Moore-Martin to benefit from their wills, prosecutors allege.

Ian Farquhar told jurors Mr Field did not express any emotion over his brother Peter's death in October 2015.

The defendant denies murdering the 69-year-old.

He is on trial at Oxford Crown Court alongside magician Martyn Smith, who is accused of assisting Mr Field in the murder of Mr Farquhar and the plan to kill his 83-year-old neighbour in Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Peter Farquhar's brother told the court Benjamin Field did not say sorry that his sibling had died

Jurors heard Mr Field phoned Ian Farquhar on 26 October 2015 and told him his brother had died. When he arrived at his brother's house, Mr Field and the police were already there.

He told the court: "He was strangely unaffected. I didn't notice any [emotion]. I felt that, maybe in retrospect, this was not the reaction of somebody who had lost a good close friend."

'Messages from God'

He described how when Mr Smith arrived at the house later that day he seemed "very upset" and added that Mr Field "didn't even bother to say sorry that my brother had died".

Defending, David Jeremy QC said if his client had murdered Mr Farquhar, he would have acted with "grief and emotion".

Ian Farquhar said Mr Field shared a bed with his brother, who "struggled" with his sexuality due to his strong Christian beliefs.

He said the pair shared interests in poetry and literature and that his brother "loved and cared" for the defendant.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin lived three doors away from each other

The court previously heard the defendants tried to make Mr Farquhar and Miss Moore-Martin think they were losing their minds.

They allegedly laced Mr Farquhar's food and drink with drugs and neat alcohol and wrote "messages from God" on mirrors belonging to Ms Moore-Martin, who died of natural causes in May 2017.

Mr Farquhar's health had begun to deteriorate in the six months before he died, with him suffering falls, hallucinations and becoming convinced he was losing his mind, having developed a "mystery illness".

"My wife and I had gone to see him and he suddenly said, 'Can you see all the lights in the sky over there?' and we looked out and it was a cloudy sky," his brother said.

Mr Field, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, Buckinghamshire, also denies 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.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites