Two men hatched a plot to rob and kill international pop star Joss Stone before dumping her body in a river, a court heard today.
Junior Bradshaw and Kevin Liverpool harboured deep hatred for the soul singer, who they referred to as a “she-devil”, it is claimed.
The pair set off from their home in Manchester with a samurai sword, knives, bags and gloves crammed in their Fiat Punto, bound for Miss Stone’s address in mid-Devon, the court heard.
It is claimed the alleged murder plot was fraught with problems.
The pair were spoken to by police having been involved in a crash on the journey south. They also asked a postman for directions to Miss Stone’s home using a picture of the pop star in an attempt to track her down, the court heard.
The duo had previously gained evidence about one of Miss Stone’s former homes, near Cullompton off the M5 in the UK, after studying a video documentary she made for MTV’s Cribs series and printed Google street maps to find her new address a short distance away, the prosecution allege.
It is claimed that notes found in the defendants’ possession showed they intended to decapitate the pop star before planning to dump her body in a river.
The pair were arrested a few miles from Miss Stone’s home, the jury heard.
Bradshaw, 32, and Liverpool, 35, deny charges of conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to rob, in 2011.
Opening the case at Exeter Crown Court, prosecutor Simon Morgan QC told the jury of 10 men and two women: “This case is about a decision by a group of individuals, of which these defendants are two, to rob and kill Joss Stone.
“That is not a phrase I have plucked from the air. It is used in documents written by Mr Liverpool during the planning stages of this plot. We don’t know who the others are but that does not matter.
“Your job will be to determine whether you think these two are part of a plot.”