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Sixth Commandment killer Ben Field pays victims’ families compensation after selling flat

Éanna Hardwicke, who plays convicted killer Ben Field in The Sixth Commandment (BBC / Wild Mercury / Amanda Searle)
Éanna Hardwicke, who plays convicted killer Ben Field in The Sixth Commandment (BBC / Wild Mercury / Amanda Searle)

Ben Field, who murdered a university lecturer and duped another victim into changing her will, has paid £124,000 to their devastated families.

PhD student and churchwarden Benjamin Field, 29, was jailed for at least 36 years for killing Peter Farquhar, 69, in a bid to inherit his house and money after manipulating him and pretending to be his lover.

In October 2019, Field was jailed for life with a minimum term of 36 years for Farquhar’s murder and for defrauding Ann Moore-Martin of £31,000. His attempt to overturn his conviction was unsuccessful.

Field had also defrauded Mr Farquhar of £160,000 from his will.

The BBC created drama The Sixth Commandment, written by Sarah Phelps, based on the story. It stars Mr Turner and Spencer actor Timothy Spall as Peter Farquhar, “an inspirational teacher” who was manipulated into a relationship with Field, his killer. Sanditon’s Anne Reid stars as the second murder victim, Ann Moore-Martin.

Field has now paid out £124,665.03, “distributed as part of the agreed order to the victims in this case”, with the money he earned from selling a flat that he bought with his victims’ savings.

When jailed, detectives described Field as a psychopath and an “ongoing danger to society” had he not been stopped, while Mr Farquhar’s family branded him a “deeply malevolent and thoroughly evil man”.

Mr Farquhar died in October 2015, while Miss Moore-Martin died in May 2017 from natural causes.

Field accepted he had “psychologically manipulated” the retired teachers and was fraudulently in relationships with them to coerce them to change their wills, but denied any involvement in their deaths.

He insisted Mr Farquhar could have died from taking his usual dose of flurazepam and drinking whisky, but was still convicted by the jury.

Mr Justice Sweeney said that Field murdered Mr Farquhar by covertly giving him drugs and getting him to drink strong whisky and then, “if it was necessary, finished him off by suffocating him in a way that left no trace”.

“In your evidence at trial you admitted that, from late 2012 until mid-2017, you had lived by deception and deceit and had been a well-practised and able liar,” the judge told him.

“You further admitted how you could manipulate and manoeuvre people, however sceptical they may have been, to achieve your ends without ever asking them to do so directly.”