A former church warden who was jailed for life for murdering a vulnerable university lecturer from Bucks is set for an appeal.

Benjamin Field, from Olney, was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 36 years after he was found guilty of physically and mentally torturing 69-year-old Peter Farquhar, who lived in Maids Moreton, before killing him in 2015.

31-year-old Field failed in an appeal to quash his conviction in March 2021, but still had the opportunity to appeal against his sentence. The hearing will take place at the Court of Appeal, in London, on Thursday 27 January.

During his trial at Oxford Crown Court in 2019, the jury heard how Field entered into a relationship with Mr Farquhar as part of a scheme to change his will and inherit his estate.

Bucks Free Press: Benjamin Field (left) tricked Peter Farquhar (right) into a relationship so he could force his way into his will (PA/TVP)Benjamin Field (left) tricked Peter Farquhar (right) into a relationship so he could force his way into his will (PA/TVP)

READ MORE: Former church warden jailed for murdering 'vulnerable' lecturer fails to appeal conviction

The son of a Baptist minister, Field gave Mr Farquhar drugs and secretly spiked his whiskey, hoping to make his eventual death look like suicide or an accident.

During the trial, Field admitted to having another fraudulent affair with Ann Moore-Martin, who was Mr Farquhar’s neighbour, with similar intent to secure her inheritance.

Miss Moore-Martin died in May 2017, and a jury found that Field was not guilty of her murder.

Before their deaths, Field underwent a “betrothal ceremony” with Mr Farquhar, and was also in a sexual relationship with Miss Moore-Martin, who was 57 years older than him.

Two psychiatrists said Field was either suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder or a psychopathic personality disorder.

Bucks Free Press: Field also entered a fraudulent relationship with Mr Farquhar's neighbour, Ann Maxwell-Martin (PA/TVP)Field also entered a fraudulent relationship with Mr Farquhar's neighbour, Ann Maxwell-Martin (PA/TVP)

READ MORE: Victim’s poem captures murderer’s ‘poisonous’ character

In March 2021, Field failed in an attempt to overturn his conviction for the murder of Mr Farquhar, arguing that the trial judge had misdirected the jury.

The three appeal judges ruled that the conviction was correct, and praised the judge for the way he handled the trial.

Following the judgement, Lord Justice Fulford said: “This appeal turns on the single question of whether the judge’s directions to the jury were legally correct.

“We consider that the approach of the judge was correct.”

He said Mr Justice Sweeney’s directions “captured the essence of the issue in a clear and admirably succinct manner”.

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