Court orders Maids Moreton murderer to pay nearly £200,000 in compensation

Ben Field, who last year was found guilty of the murder of Peter Farquhar in Maids Moreton, has been ordered to pay back more than £190,000 in compensation after defrauding Mr Farquhar and his neighbour, Ann Moore-Martin.

By Sam Dean
Thursday, 18th June 2020, 4:33 pm

Field duped both elderly pensioners into thinking he was in love with them before defrauding them. He was later found guilty of murdering Peter Farquhar, 69, in October 2015.

Ann Moore-Martin, 83, died of natural causes in May 2017.

Confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act were brought against Ben Field, aged 29, previously of Wellingborough Road, Olney.

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Ben Field

During the same criminal proceedings, Field pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and two counts of burglary.

He was found not guilty of one count of conspiracy to murder Ann Moore-Martin, one count of the attempted murder of Ann Moore-Martin and one count of possession of an article for use in fraud.

Field was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum term of 36 years.

Field admitted to duping Maids Moreton residents, Peter and Ann, who was in her eighties at the time, into thinking he loved them in order to defraud them.

At Oxford Crown Court today (18 June), Field was ordered to pay back a total of £193,921.32 gained via the fraudulent activity that he has been convicted of.

The current recoverable amount is £146,561.02, which the court ordered Field to pay within three months.

If the money is not paid back then the court has ordered Field to serve an additional period of 16 months’ imprisonment.

The whole amount will be paid in compensation to the respective estates of Peter and Ann, split 84% and 16% respectively.

In April 2011, Field met Peter at the University of Buckingham, where he was a student and Peter was a guest lecturer.

Field befriended him over a period of time, talking to Peter about literature and art.

Peter eventually invited Field to move in with him as a lodger at his home in Manor Park, Maids Moreton.

However, Field’s true motivation was to get Peter to change his will in his favour, and then kill him in order to claim the inheritance, which he did.

Shortly after Peter’s death, Field began the process of ingratiating himself into the life of Ann, Peter’s 83-year-old neighbour who also lived in Manor Park.

Field tricked Ann into giving him more than £4,000 to purchase a car that he never bought, and £27,000 to pay for a dialysis machine which he bogusly claimed his brother needed in order to stay alive.

Two co-defendants, Field’s brother, and a friend, were acquitted of all charges against them at the trial last year.

Senior investigating officer, Principal Investigator Mark Glover, said: “No sum of money could compensate the families of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin. Nevertheless, it is right that the sum of more than £190,000 is stripped from Ben Field and returned to the estates of his victims.

“Field pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and two counts of burglary, which these confiscation proceedings relate to. His guilty pleas demonstrate that he knew all too well that he was duping his elderly victims out of their hard-earned money, by pretending that he loved them.

“This deception continued to the point where Ben underwent a church ceremony in which he and Peter betrothed themselves to each other.

“After he had killer Peter, Field then started a relationship Ann.

“Field’s actions were cruel, selfish and money-motivated, and I am satisfied that along with a life sentence, he will now have to pay back his fraudulent gains to his victims’ families.”

Mr Glover added: “This is unlike any other case I have investigated in more than 31 years of policing, and Ben Field is unlike any other criminal I have encountered.

“The extent of his planning, deception and cruelty towards his victims is frankly staggering, and I do not believe he has ever shown an ounce of remorse or contrition.

“This case serves as a reminder that we are all vulnerable in different ways. Therefore, if you suspect you are being defrauded, or you think that someone you know is being defrauded, please report it to the police immediately.”

“Finally, I want to pay tribute to the families of Peter and Ann, who have had to endure a living nightmare since our investigation commenced in 2017, followed by a protracted criminal trial, and now these confiscation proceedings. The victims’ families have displayed nothing but dignity and strength throughout. Our thoughts continue to be with them,” Mr Glover added.

Ben Field has appealed his murder conviction.