A Joss Stone murder plot has ended with two British men (pictured below) being found guilty of planning to rob and kill the singer.
Kevin Liverpool, 35, and Junior Bradshaw, 32, planned to decapitate the 25-year-old pop star before dumping her remains in a river. The pair were intercepted a few miles from Stone’s rural home by police in June 2011.
On Wednesday, Liverpool was jailed for life, and must serve 10 years and eight months before being eligible for parole. The sentencing of Bradshaw will be conducted at a later date, though it is expected a hybrid sentence – a custodial sentence served in a secure psychiatric unit – may be passed down. Sentencing Liverpool, Judge Francis Gilbert QC told the would-be killer:
“You intended to rob [Joss Stone] and kill her and dump her body in the river, according to your words, and then leave the country with your accomplice Junior Bradshaw.”
Throughout the two-week trial, the court heard how Liverpool and Bradshaw committed a series of near-farcical blunders that led to their arrest.
On their way to Stone’s house, the pair crashed their car into a motorway barrier before getting lost on the confusing and remote roads around Stone’s home. In a desperate attempt to locate their would-be victim, they presented a mailman with a photo of Stone. They were finally stopped by police after witnesses saw the pair behaving “abnormally.”
When cops found an entirely unconcealed stash of weapons in the back of their battered old Fiat Punto, the Joss Stone murder plot was up, and the pair were arrested. The duo had filled their car with a samurai sword, hammers, a metal spike, a knife, balaclavas, gloves, body bags, gaffer tape and a roll of plastic bags. They were also carrying maps of the area in which the singer lives. One was marked: “Here Joss Stone.”
Other notes suggested the pair had disapproved of Stone being invited to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.
Officers later searched the flat shared by the two in Longsight, Manchester, and found a bundle of notes. One concluded: “Once Jocelyn’s dead … find a river to dump her.” A crossbow and a BB gun was also discovered at the property.
While Liverpool and Bradshaw attempted to carry out their crime, Stone was at home relaxing. The singer told the jury she ran an “open house” where she neighbours were encouraged to call in. She revealed that, since the murder plot had come to light, she had added locks and an alarm to her property.
Police have yet to discover a motivation behind the Joss Stone murder plot. Neither man appeared to be fixated on Stone, and none of the singer’s music was found at their flat. Detectives have suggested Stone was picked at random, as a wealthy target who could provide the two men with significant amounts of cash.
Speaking after the verdicts had been delivered, Stone told reporters:
“I am relieved the trial is now over and that these men are no longer in a position to cause harm to anyone.”
[Image via Shutterstock.com]