Beds, Herts & Bucks

Maids Moreton murder accused 'attended counselling over death'

Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin Image copyright Handout
Image caption Peter Farquhar died in October 2015 and Ann Moore-Martin died of natural causes in May 2017

A magician accused of murdering a university lecturer went to counselling after the death to deal with his "feelings", a trial heard.

Martyn Smith, 32, is accused of helping PhD student Benjamin Field, 28, in the murder of Peter Farquhar, 69, and conspiring to murder retired headmistress Ann Moore-Martin, 83.

Mr Farquhar was found dead at his home in Maids Moreton, Bucks in 2015.

Mr Smith said he went to counselling "to process" the death.

Ms Moore-Martin died from natural causes in 2017.

Image copyright Handout
Image caption Benjamin Field is accused of killing Peter Farquhar, left

The prosecution at Oxford Crown Court alleges Mr Field gave Mr Farquhar alcohol and benzodiazepines, and if the combined effect did not kill him, then suffocating him with a pillow did.

Jurors heard the motive was "financial gain", and that Mr Smith was "enthralled" by Mr Field and became greedy while assisting him.

'Daily counselling'

Mr Smith said he had left the bottle of alcohol in the home of Mr Farquhar - who was going through a period of not drinking - because it did not fit into his rucksack.

Asked by Timothy Moloney QC if he felt guilty about leaving the bottle and if he blamed himself, Mr Smith said he did.

Mr Smith said he went to counselling on a daily basis for "maybe a couple of weeks" after the death.

"I felt I needed to talk to somebody," he said.

Both Mr Field and Mr Smith, 32, deny charges of 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, but has admitted four charges of fraud and two of burglary.

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

24-year-old Tom Field, Benjamin Field's brother, also of Wellingborough Road, Olney, Buckinghamshire, denies a single charge of fraud.

The trial continues.

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