Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Trial begins of two men accused of plotting to kill the singer.
Two men hatched a plot to cut off singer Joss Stone’s head because they believed she was a ‘corrupt she-devil’, a jury has been told.
Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw are alleged to have spent five months tracking down the 25-year-old star to her home in Devon and finding out when she would be there.
They wrote a chilling murder plan in which they spelled out how they were going to rob her, kill her using a Samurai sword, and dump her body in a river.
They targeted her because she was rich and they despised her links to the Royal Family, which included singing at Royal Gala events and being a guest at Prince William’s wedding.
Liverpool also hoped to use money he stole during the robbery to pay off his fines, a jury was told.
The pair were caught after repeatedly stopping to ask directions to her isolated home at Ashill, between Uffculme and Hemyock, East Devon, and arousing the suspicion of locals.
Exeter Crown Court was told their battered car contained everything they needed to carry out their plan.
Police found a Samurai sword, body bag, hammer, knife, hosepipe, gaffer tape, masks and gloves, along with route maps charting the way to Joss’ home and notes about what they planned to do when they got there.
The notes and other documents found at their home, in Manchester, include a string of phrases about what they were doing.
Joscelyn is a she-devil in flesh. She is corrupt.
Rob and kill – Joscelyn RIP. Joscelyn Stoker … RIP forever.
Kills; decapitates them.
Find a river to dump her in.
I don’t kill for just for dollars, only for cause or good reason. An eye for an eye.
Junior Bradshaw, aged 32, and Kevin Liverpool, aged 35, both of St Stephens Close, Longsight, Manchester, deny conspiring between January 1, 2011 and June 14, 2011 to rob, murder, or cause grievous bodily harm to Joscelyn Eve Stoker, also known as Joss Stone.
Mr Simon Morgan, prosecuting, said there may be others involved in the plot who have not been identified.
He said the pair picked Joss Stone as a target after she shot an MTV video at her former home at Culmstock but discovered she had moved and tracked her down to her new address.
They carried out a scouting mission in May 2011, a month before they drove to Devon to put their plan into action, and used computers in their local library to work out her itinerary so they could strike while she was at home.
The court heard they had maps of Devon but had made their own notes which were littered with mis-spellings, referring to Raul, instead of the hamlet of Rull; Ofcom, for Uffculme; and Tiberton for Tiverton.
They accumulated an arsenal of weapons and a crossbow and BB pistol were left at the flat they shared because one was broken and the other considered not to be deadly enough.
Mr Morgan said:”The Crown says these defendants, with others, had decided to find Joss Stone and rob and kill her. Their motive may never be clearly established. The documents give some possible clues.
“They appear to express disapproval of the Royal Family. Joss Stone associates with members of the Royal Family; her concerts have been attended by them and she was invited to the Royal Wedding at the end of April that year.
“Hence she becomes a target. One document says ‘Joscelyn is a she-devil in flesh’ another says she is corrupt. The documents associate Joss Stone with the Queen.
“Other documents speak of robbery, others of murder. One says ‘rob and kill’, another ‘kills, decapitates them’ – a reference to a sword. They speak of her as a ghost and of finding a river to dump her in.
“The Crown says it is obvious they were intent on serious violence. The intended target is Joss Stone. They had decided on this action some time before and were putting it into effect.
“The items in their possession, the trips to the area, the fact that the intended victim was at home, the notes and maps all point to a determined effort on the part of the defendants to carry out the plan they hatched some time before.
“The evidence establishes they planned to rob and kill their target with the equipment they had with them.”
Mr Morgan said the plot almost failed when they crashed their car at Michaelwood Services on the way South but the police who attended did not search it.
They were reported to police by several local people living near Cullompton because they got lost and acted strangely while asking for directions, including showing postman Alex Greening a picture of the singer and asking where she lived.
They were finally arrested in Cullompton High Street when Police Constable Victoria Dixon did a check on the police national computer and found one of the pair was a disqualified driver.
She and a colleague then carried out a search in which they found the sword and the rest of the sinister cargo.
The trial continues.