British singer Joss Stone has given evidence on the second day of a criminal trial against the two men accused of allegedly plotting to rob and murder the star.
Both Junior Bradshaw, 32, and Kevin Liverpool, 35, have denied conspiring to cause grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to rob in 2011. The plan allegedly involved an intention to decapitate Stone and dump her body in a river.
Prosecutors told Exeter Crown court that Bradshaw and Liverpool set off from their home in Manchester, England, with a Samurai sword, knives, gaffer tape, black bags, a hosepipe, a metal spike, gloves, a lock knife, maps, hammers and gloves in their small red Fiat Punto, and headed for Stone’s address in Ashill, near Cullompton, Devon.
However, the alleged plot came to light when pair crashed on the journey at a motorway services and drive off without paying.
The duo continued to Devon but were later stopped by police after three neighboring ladies reported a car circling Stone’s address and told officers the men were “agitated and behaving abnormally.”
When officers approached the two men, they found the sword and the rest of the equipment in the car.
Simon Morgan, prosecuting, told the jury: “The Crown says with this arsenal of weapons it is obvious they were intent upon serious violence. The intended target is Joss Stone.”
“This case is all about a decision by a group of individuals, of whom 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 … your concern is whether these two were part of the plot. It doesn’t matter what part they took or planned to take.”
On the stand, Stone, 25, told the court she only became aware of the plot when she was visited by the police at her home.
She said: “Apart from someone [the police] coming around to say someone is trying to kill me, it was a really nice day,” adding that because she had lived in Devon for a long time, “nobody really shuts their door.”
The singer added: “I didn’t really have a lock on my door … but I do now.”
The jury had previously been told that in addition to the equipment found in the Fiat Punto by police, a crossbow, BB gun, and handwritten notes were also discovered. The notes referred to Stone being at the April 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and described the singer and the Queen as “she devils.”
Morgan, explained: “Joss Stone associates with members of the Royal family. Her concerts have been attended by members of it and she was invited to the Royal wedding at the very end of April that year. Hence she became a target.”
While giving evidence, Stone, who shot to fame in 2003 with the release of her multi-platinum debut album The Soul Sessions, described her home as an “open house” for family, friends and her then-boyfriend.
The singer added: “At the time I had a gate. To get in, they [visitors] would just open the gate, drive in with their car, get up to another [wooden] gate, shut the gate hopefully so the dogs don’t get out, then say hello.”
The court record showed Stone was at home on June 13, 2011, the day that the plot allegedly conceived by Bradshaw and Liverpool unfolded.
The trial is expected to continue for another three weeks.