Peter Farquhar girlfriend
True Crime

Ben Field’s girlfriend had ‘no idea’ he was with Peter Farquhar before he killed him: ‘We had a nice, normal relationship’

They were together for five years...

Ben Field is currently in jail for one of the most heinous crimes possible – the murder of vulnerable retired teacher Peter Farquhar – something he plotted behind the back of his girlfriend.

In 2015, churchwarden Ben murdered his partner Peter, after a campaign of abuse. He poisoned him, and suffocated him when he was too weak to resist. Ben was convinced he’d get away with it by making it look like an accidental death.

Ben’s motives were simple – he wanted Peter’s money. But unbeknownst to Peter, Ben Field had a girlfriend of five years. Lara Busby didn’t suspect a thing, and had no idea her boyfriend was plotting the death of an elderly Maids Moreton resident…

Peter Farquhar and his betrothed Ben Field
Peter Farquhar and his betrothed Ben Field, who had a secret girlfriend (Credit: Channel 4)

Ben Field had a girlfriend of five years called Lara Busby

Murderer Ben Field targeted his university lecturer Peter Farquhar. Knowing he was vulnerable, Ben tricked him into a relationship, and told him he loved him.

In fact, Ben wasn’t gay. He had a secret girlfriend that Peter has no clue about. While Ben and Peter became betrothed in a religious ceremony, Ben’s girlfriend Lara Busby had no idea what was going on.

Now an Emergency Call Taker for SCAS, Lara describes the moment she discovered her boyfriend was a murderer. Speaking to, she said: “I was in love with a monster.”

Lara was 19 when she first met Ben through a mutual friend in December 2012. He was two years older. Friendship eventually led to romance, and the pair began dating. She reveals they “were together on and off for the next five years”.

Describing their relationship, Lara admits: “We had a nice, normal relationship –  we went for walks with my dogs, and loved chilling together and watching a film. As a boyfriend he was really caring and attentive.”

After a brief break in 2015 [when Ben was living with Peter], Ben and Lara started to develop into something more serious. By 2017, Ben told Lara he was in love with her.

Within months, police arrested Ben.

‘He promised me that he’d done nothing wrong’

In March 2017, police arrested Ben Field in relation to the death of Ann Moore-Martin. After killing Peter Farquhar, Ben had moved on to his next victim – unbelievably Peter’s elderly neighbour Ann.

When Ann died in apparently suspicious circumstances, police began to suspect Ben. Lara admits: “Ben told me that he’d been arrested on suspicion of poisoning someone. He said that the person had put him in their will, and a family member had made a false allegation against him because they were unhappy about it.

“He promised me that he’d done nothing wrong and I had no reason not to believe him. As far as I was aware, he was the same lovely, caring person he’d always been.”

Police arrested Ben again in January 2018, and accused him of murdering Peter Farquhar. Ben told Lara, who was classed as a key witness, that they didn’t have enough evidence to charge him, because there was no evidence.

“He was adamant that he hadn’t done anything wrong. I was in love with him, and if he said he was innocent, then I was going to support him.”

Benjamin Field duped Peter Farquhar into a fake relationship
Benjamin Field duped Peter Farquhar into a fake relationship (Credit: Channel 4)

‘I didn’t know Ben had lied to me’

Tragically, Lara later learnt that Ben had lied to her, something she discovered on the first day of the trial, which started in April 2019.

When police charged Ben for Peter’s murder, Lara began to realise that there was evidence against him. She adds: “I always had that little glimmer of hope in me that he hadn’t done it.”

Eventually, Lara discovered the truth about her boyfriend. She told Stylist: “This man that I had known for so many years, who I was in love with, who I thought was an amazing person… I had this sudden realisation that this man did not exist.”

She experienced the awful realisation that she “had been supporting someone who was a complete monster”. Lara admitted that Ben had little experience with men, and that Ben had “bewitched” her.

At the trial, Lara “broke down”, she said the sentencing “was the closing of a very dark chapter”.

The Sixth Commandment on BBC One

The Sixth Commandment airs on BBC One this month, and dramatises the chilling story of murderer Ben Field.

In what remains one of the most disturbing true crimes in recent memory, church warden Ben targeted teacher Peter Farquhar and subjected him to a campaign of gas lighting.

In a heartbreaking betrayal of trust, Ben subsequently murdered Peter, and tried to make it look like suicide or an accident. He then promptly moved on to his next target – Peter’s neighbour Ann Moore-Martin.

Luckily, police arrested Ben before he could kill again. But it was later revealed that the Maids Moreton murderer Ben Field “had a list of 100 other targets” after killing teacher Peter Farquhar…

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Glover said Ben Field had drawn up a list of 100 people he could “use” for accommodation or money. He told The Independent: “His own grandparents were on there, his mum and dad, his brother, his girlfriend, her mother.”

He added: “Some of them were elderly. They fitted the same profile as his victims – independent, living alone, affluent, no children.”

Ben Field mugshot
Ben Field’s mugshot: Churchwarden was eventually charged with murder (Credit: Thames Valley Police)

Where is Ben Field now?

Ben Field is currently in jail where he belongs. A jury found Ben guilty of murder at Oxford Crown Court on August 09, 2019. The Baptist’s son earlier pleaded guilty to three offences of fraud and two of burglary.

The court heard how Ben Field carried out a sustained “gaslighting” plot aimed at making Mr Farquhar question his sanity.

Ben drugged Mr Farquhar’s drinks with bioethanol and poteen, a high strength Irish alcohol, and his food was laced with drugs. Jurors were told Ben “suffocated him” when he was too weak to resist.

The judge sentenced Ben to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 36 years on October 18, 2019. Mr Justice Sweeney said the criminal was a “well-practiced and able liar”, adding: “I have no doubt that you are a dangerous offender.”

In March 2021, Ben lost his appeal to have his murder conviction overturned. His barrister previously argued the conviction was “unsafe” as the trial judge misdirected the jury. But the Court of Appeal has upheld his conviction.

In 2022, Ben was attempting to reopen the appeal, with his lawyers arguing that the Court of Appeal’s judgment was flawed.

Read more: The Sixth Commandment actor Timothy Spall on being given ‘three days to live’ and drastic weight loss

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The Sixth Commandment starts on Monday, July 17, 2023 at 9pm on BBC One.

What do you think of Ben Field’s crimes? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor