The churchwarden accused of murdering his elderly gay 'lover' has admitted in court: "I’ve deceived absolutely everyone that I’ve ever had a relationship with.”
Ben Field from Olney took to the stand for the first time to give his defence to charges of murdering Peter Farquhar, 69, and attempting to murder 83-year-old spinster Ann Moore-Martin.
Defence QC David Jeremy asked 26-year-old Field if he admitted fraudulently seeking to benefit from the wills of Mr Farquhar and Ms Moore-Martin. Field agreed that he did.
Mr Jeremy then asked: “So where’s the lie?”
Field replied: “The essential lie was that I loved him and that his feelings beyond the platonic were reciprocated by me. They were not.”
When asked why he ‘gas lighted’ Peter Farquhar, Ben Field replied: “To irritate him – I did it vindictively.”
Field, who went through a gay marriage ceremony with besotted Mr Farquhar said he found aspects of him "quite dislikeable".
Previously the court heard how he plotted to kill the elderly teacher, drugging his food and giving him neat alcohol until he was a "shambling wreck" of his former self.
After Mr Farquhar died, Field, who is the son of an Olney Baptist church minister, moved on to pursue neighbour Ms Moore-Martin and entered into a sexual relationship.
Again, Mr Jeremy asked him: "Where was the lie?"
Field replied: “That I had romantic feelings for her and that we were in a genuine romantic relationship. We were not.”
He admitted lying to Ms moore-Martin about about needing £4,000 for a new car and £26,000 for a dialysis machine for his brother, Tom Field.
When asked what he did with the money, Field replied: “Well I certainly didn’t buy a dialysis machine. I spent it.”
Field was asked to read out to the court an email exchange between himself and his brother.
Tom Field expressed concern about his brother’s activities, which the pair referred to as ‘manoeuvres’, and the way they were affecting other people
He wrote: “The lies need to stop,” adding, “the will thing is not OK.”
Ben Field emailed back saying he was “chilled” by his brother’s words.
David Jeremy then questioned Ben Field about his sexuality. Field described himself as heterosexual but added that he had had sexual encounters with men and on five occasions had received oral sex for money – between £30 and £50 each time.
When asked how he found the experiences Field said: “Neither pleasurable or objectionable.”
He added: “Money was a secondary thing. It was to push my own boundaries. I was trying to do something that I found transgressive to test myself.”
Mr Jeremy moved on to ask Ben Field about important relationships he had. Field admitted “it’s a short list", saying it was only his immediate family and one other person,
He added: “They’ve all been coloured by deception by me. I’ve deceived absolutely everyone that I’ve ever had a relationship with.”
When questioned about the reasons for these deceptions. Field answered: “I think the most common kind of deception by me is to pretend that I’m other than I am – that I’m better. I feel inadequate so it’s pleasing to pretend to be someone else.”
Ben Field is charged with one count of murder, one charge of conspiracy to murder, one count of attempted murder. three counts of fraud, one count of possession of an article for the use in fraud, and one count of burglary.
Tom Field, 24, also from Olney, is charged with fraud.
The trial at Oxford Crown Court continues.