Churchwarden and magician re-arrested in connection with death of 69-year-old teacher and his neighbor

27-year-old Ben Field and 31-year-old Martyn Smith were held for questioning in January earlier this year, and they were arrested again in November


                            Churchwarden and magician re-arrested in connection with death of 69-year-old teacher and his neighbor

The alleged murders of an inspirational elderly teacher in an old-fashioned village and his neighbor in Buckinghamshire has led law enforcement authorities to re-arrest a churchwarden and a magician for further interrogation.

Sixty-nine-year-old Peter Farquhar, the English teacher, and his neighbor Ann Moore-Martin, 83, were both found dead in the village of Maids Moreton near Buckingham, Daily Mail reports.

Dying within a year and a half of each other, the pensioners lived three houses apart in Manor Park in the said village. During the murder probe at the time, 27-year-old Ben Field, Farquhar's lodger, and 31-year-old Martyn Smith, a churchwarden, were held for questioning before being re-arrested on November 6, 2018. Both men reportedly helped look after Farquhar in his final months as his health deteriorated with age. Field moved in with Moore-Martin after his death.

69-year-old Peter Farquhar (Twitter)
69-year-old Peter Farquhar (Twitter)

Farquhar's rapidly deteriorating health had baffled locals, who described him as a gentle but determined man. He was moved into a nursing home near his house for appropriate care. According to locals, Farquhar, a regular churchman, had suddenly turned quite introverted after having been outgoing all his life.

Initially, it was believed that the former public school teacher had died from drinking too much and there was no suspicion of any foul play involved in his demise.

Field, one of the main beneficiaries of Farquhar's will, was granted the right to live in his £300,000 ($395,000) home for as long as he wished; all he had to do was to take care of the property, pay the bills, and ensure the contents of the house remained intact and insured. But within a year, Field had moved out and bought a flat in Towcester, Northamptonshire, for £97,500 ($128,000) paid in cash. On the other hand, the churchwarden, who was also one of the three executors of the schoolteacher's will, received powers over the teacher's unpublished manuscripts.



 

It was previously thought that Smith and Field were both eager for Farquhar to continue writing novels and later make a documentary about his life using his vast library. He had already published a number of novels before his death. Both Smith and Field had listed themselves as joint directors in a company called Farquhar Studies, which was registered by them in July 2015 and dissolved in November 2016.

Having previously taught at Manchester Grammar School and Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, Farquhar was serving as a retired part-time English lecturer at the University of Buckingham. Farquhar was allegedly suffering from a urinary tract infection just weeks before his death, a friend of his claimed. He also complained of having "bad thoughts" at night and being in a constant state of restlessness. However, just two days before his death, he told his friends: "Hallelujah, I'm feeling a lot better."

Michael Crick, a Channel 4 News political correspondent, was shocked to hear of Farquhar's demise. Crick was taught by Farquhar at the Manchester Grammar School and had remained life-long friends with him.



 

Thames Valley Police wrote on their website: "Following an investigation by Thames Valley Police, two men have been charged in connection with a murder investigation in Buckinghamshire. The investigation was launched following the deaths of two residents of Maids Moreton.

"Benjamin Field, aged 28, of Wellingborough Road, Olney, has been charged today (6/11) with two counts of conspiracy to murder Ann Moore Martin and Peter Farquhar, one count of murder of Peter Farquhar, one count of attempted murder of Ann Moore Martin, two counts of fraud and three counts of burglary.

"Martyn Smith, aged 32, of Penhalvean, Redruth, Cornwall, has been charged today (6/11) with two counts of conspiracy to murder Ann Moore Martin and Peter Farquhar, one count of murder of Peter Farquhar, one count of attempted murder of Ann Moore Martin, one count of fraud, and two counts of burglary.

"They were originally arrested in connection with the investigation on 16th January this year."