Church warden, 28, is found guilty of murdering university lecturer, 69, after starting a sexual relationship with him and being written into his will

A ‘calculating’ church warden has been convicted of murdering a university lecturer after a campaign of physical and mental torture.

Benjamin Field, 28, was found guilty at Oxford Crown Court of the murder of Peter Farquhar, 69, in the village of Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire.

His co-accused, magician Martyn Smith, 32, was found not guilty.

The pair were both cleared of a charge of conspiracy to murder Mr Farquhar’s close neighbour Ann Moore-Martin and Field was also acquitted of her attempted murder.

Field killed Mr Farquhar by making his deaths look like an accident or suicide.

Church warden Ben Field (right) is pictured at a ‘betrothal ceremony’ to Peter Farquhar (left)

Mr Farquhar, a university lecturer, died in October 2015. An upsetting photo shown to the jury shows him laying, confused, in his bed after he was drugged and ‘gaslighted’ by his killer

Field, a Baptist minister’s son, admitted fraudulently being in relationships with Mr Farquhar and his neighbour Miss Moore-Martin as part of a plot to get them to change their wills but denied any involvement in their deaths.

Prosecutors told Oxford Crown Court Field and Smith targeted Miss Moore-Martin a few months after murdering Mr Farquhar but they were acquitted of charges relating to her death after 77 hours of deliberations.

Senior investigating officer Mark Glover, a retired detective chief inspector, said Field fitted the profile of a psychopath.

‘Cruel, calculating, manipulative, deceitful. I don’t think evil is too strong a word for him,’ he said.

Mr Glover said Field had taken pleasure in tormenting his victim and torturing him physically and mentally, adding: ‘Everything is about Ben Field and Ben Field’s gain.’

Chris Derrick, head of complex casework unit at CPS Thames-Chiltern, added: ‘I think torture is a word that can be used to described Benjamin Fields’ behaviour.’

He added: ‘He is clearly a very calculating and ruthless man who spent a great deal of time planning what he was going to do.’

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