A church warden who murdered a university lecturer after a campaign of physical and mental torture is to appeal against his conviction.
Benjamin Field, 29, was jailed for at least 36 years for killing Peter Farquhar, 69, in order to inherit his house and money after driving him to think he was losing his mind following a period of gaslighting.
Field secretly gave Mr Farquhar drugs and spiked his whisky, hoping that his eventual death at his hands would look like suicide or an accident.
He was convicted by a jury at Oxford Crown Court of Mr Farquhar’s murder in the village of Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire, in 2015 but acquitted of the attempted murder of neighbour Ann Moore-Martin.
The Baptist minister’s son had pleaded guilty to defrauding Mr Farquhar of £160,000 from his will and of defrauding Miss Moore-Martin of £4,000 to buy a car and £27,000 for a dialysis machine.
Field’s plans to appeal over his murder conviction emerged at a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Oxford Crown Court last week. A further hearing is planned for June 18.
The Court of Appeal confirmed the former University of Buckingham PhD student had lodged an appeal.
“An appeal against conviction was lodged and granted in the case of Mr Field. A date has not currently been listed for this to be heard,” a spokeswoman for the judiciary added.
Mr Farquhar’s family branded Field a “deeply malevolent and thoroughly evil man” when he was jailed.
Detectives described Field as a psychopath and said he would have posed an “ongoing danger to society” had he not been stopped.
Imposing a life sentence, Mr Justice Sweeney said Field had been convicted by the jury of murder on “overwhelming evidence”.
“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.
“You were, you accepted, a snake talker, as you were able to build pressure on your victims to believe what you needed them to believe and then to do whatever you needed them to do.
“The evidence at trial clearly demonstrated grandiosity, a sense of superiority towards others, the exploitation of others to achieve personal gain, the need to belittle and humiliate others, fixation on fantasies of power and success, intelligence, a need for admiration from others, and a sense of entitlement together with an unwillingness to empathise with the feelings, needs and wishes of others.”