Beds, Herts & Bucks

Maids Moreton: Ben Field 'would have killed again'

Benjamin Field standing next to novelist Peter Farquhar Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Benjamin Field (right) has been convicted of the murder of Peter Farquhar

There is "no doubt" a churchwarden who murdered an author to inherit his estate would have gone on to kill again, his victim's brother has said.

Benjamin Field, 28, manipulated 69-year-old Peter Farquhar for financial gain and tried to make his death look like an accident or suicide.

Baptist minister's son Field admitted duping Mr Farquhar into a fake relationship in a plot to get him to change his will, but denied murder.

He is awaiting sentencing.

He was also accused of plotting to kill Mr Farquhar's neighbour Ann Moore-Martin, 83, in the village of Maids Moreton but was found not guilty.

Mr Farquhar died in the Buckinghamshire village in October 2015, while Miss Moore-Martin, who lived three doors away, died in May 2017 from natural causes.

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Media captionPeter Farquhar's brother says Ben Field "wormed his way" into his life

While with English literature specialist Mr Farquhar, Field rubbed shoulders with other intellectuals without them suspecting he was up to anything untoward.

Mr Farquhar's brother Ian said: "His brain was his gift and it was significant that was one of the things that Ben Field attacked.

"He attended stuff with my brother with the highest people in the land academically, and they all thought he was fine," said Ian Farquhar.

He said he had "no doubt at all" that Field would have targeted other victims had he not been caught.

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

Ian Farquhar's wife Sue said she had been shocked by the lack of emotion shown by Field after the death.

"After someone had been living with somebody for so long and professes love, we thought there might have been a little bit more reaction," she said.

Field's scheme began to unravel when he targeted Mr Farquhar's neighbour, Ann Moore-Martin.

The Baptist minister's son was in a sexual relationship with Miss Moore-Martin, a deeply religious retired head teacher.

He subjected her to the same campaign of psychological manipulation, known as gaslighting, by writing messages on her mirrors purporting to be from God.

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