Beds, Herts & Bucks

Maids Moreton: Murder accused 'deceptive and disloyal'

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

A university lecturer described the man accused of murdering him as "deceptive and disloyal" in a poem, a court heard.

Peter Farquhar, 69, also wrote that church warden Benjamin Field's "special pleasure" was "hurting others".

Mr Field, 28, denies the murder or Mr Farquhar and conspiracy to murder Ann Moore-Martin, 83, in Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire.

He has admitted fraudulently being in relationships with both in order to gain financially from their wills.

Mr Farquhar wrote the 18-line poem after Mr Field, to whom he was betrothed, wrote "extremely insulting" poems about him, Oxford Crown Court heard.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Peter Farquhar was a guest lecturer at the University of Buckingham and had written a number of books

The lecturer's poem was read to the jury by Mr Field, giving evidence for a second day.

It describes the defendant as a "caustic pedant, laughably vain", and "a nonentity whom nobody reads".

Mr Field said he thought Mr Farquhar would see his own work as "a bit of sport" and that his poems were preparations for online "rap battles".

Asked why he did not write about Mr Farquhar's positive qualities, the Baptist minister's son, said: "I suppose because I was not a nice writer."

He is on trial with magician Martyn Smith, 32, accused of murdering Mr Farquhar and conspiring to murder retired headmistress Miss Moore-Martin following a sustained campaign of "gaslighting".

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

Mr Farquhar died in October 2015, and neighbour Miss Moore-Martin in May 2017.

Mr Field told the court he had considered killing himself in 2013 as he was feeling "depressed and alienated".

He said he had counselling in 2017 and was trying to overcome his "destructive" past deviousness.

"I am still in the process of transformation," he told the court.

Mr Field, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, Buckinghamshire, also denies an alternative charge of attempted murder, and possessing an article for use in fraud. He admits four charges of fraud and two of burglary.

His brother Tom Field, 24, of the same address, 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.

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