Murder charge churchwarden from Milton Keynes blames his victim's injuries on dementia

A young churchwarden accused of murdering his 69-year-old ‘husband’ blamed the man’s injuries on dementia, a court heard.

Ben Field, 28, and his friend Martyn Smith were secretly lacing elderly Peter Farquhar’s food and drink with drugs and neat alcohol, the jury heard.

Ben Field

Ben Field

The court listened to a tape of Field, who lives in Olney, speaking to an NHS 111 call handler about a head injury suffered by Mr Farquhar.

He said: “He falls frequently because, err, you know something that’s yet undiagnosed but it, it’s probably a dementia.”

Field and Smith’s plan was to kill his lover, and also his 83-year-old neighbour Ann Moore-Martin, to benefit from their wills, Oxford Crown Court was told.

At one stage retired teacher Mr Farquhar almost discovered the evil plot after reading a dairy kept by Field, who is the son of Olney Baptist minister Rev Ian Field.

Peter Farquhar

Peter Farquhar

One diary entry, read out in court, stated: “I immediately discovered it was all about me and negatively so. He (Field) records daily any sign of loss of memory and worse and fictionally, he records how much alcohol I drink.

“Before my colonoscopy he recorded I had drunk gin, a pure invention. He has also recorded that he shared this information with friends in the church and with his mother and brother.”

But he added: “There is nothing I can do about it, because I have read a private diary. If this clandestine activity were not happening everything would be so perfect. I am now hesitating about changing the will.”

Later the pair made up and Mr Farquhar wrote: “It was all a spoof!”

The pair were ‘betrothed’ at a private ceremony at a London Church in 2014. Mr Farquhar changed his will and Field inherited his Maids Moreton house and cash when he died in 2015, after becoming increasingly frail and confused.

The court heard how Field then turned his attention to wooing elderly spinster Miss Moore-Martin, another retired teacher, and this developed into a “full blown sexual relationship”.

Field wrote messages on her mirrors, purporting to be from God, telling her to change her will and make him a beneficiary - which she duly did.

He is now charged with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of conspiracy to murder, one count of burglary, three counts of fraud and one count of possession of an article for use in fraud. He has admitted the three fraud counts and the burglary but denies the rest.

Martyn Smith, of Cornwall, denies all the charges against him - one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of conspiracy to murder, three counts of fraud, one count of burglary and one count of possession of an article for use in fraud,

Also in the dock is Ben’s brother Tom Field, 23, also from Wellingborough Road, Olney. He denies a charge of fraud by false representation.

The trial continues and will last up to 12 weeks.