A Manchester man has been jailed for life for plotting to rob and kill pop star Joss Stone.
Stone accused's diary shown to jury
The trial of two men accused of hatching a murder plot involving singer Joss Stone has been adjourned until next year.
Two men from Manchester convicted of plotting to rob and kill international pop star Joss Stone will appeal against the length of their sentences today.
Three judges at the Court of Appeal in London will hear challenges by Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw, who were found guilty of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to rob following a three-week trial at Exeter Crown Court last year.
Liverpool was given a life sentence, with a minimum term of 10 years and eight months - the least he must serve before becoming eligible to apply for parole - while Bradshaw was jailed for 18 years.
Judge Francis Gilbert, the Recorder of Exeter, branded Liverpool a danger to the public and said he targeted Miss Stone to get more than £1 million from her.
He told him: "You intended to rob her and kill her and dump her body in the river, according to your words, and then leave the country with your accomplice Junior Bradshaw. You had no reason to target her except that she was a wealthy young woman as she was a successful singer."
Liverpool, 36, and Bradshaw, 33, drove from Manchester to Miss Stone's home in mid-Devon with an arsenal of weapons to rob and kill her.
The flatmates, of St Stephen's Close, Longsight, Manchester, had scouted Miss Stone's home and were on their way to attack her armed with a sword, three knives, two hammers, masks, gloves and a hosepipe when they were arrested in Cullompton in June 2011.
Suspicious residents had called the police, having spotted Liverpool and Bradshaw's badly-damaged Fiat Punto in the area.
The pair told police they were lost and were trying to get to Bristol but officers became wary and quickly discovered the cache in the boot.
A man's been jailed for life after he plotted to murder the singer Joss Stone. Kevin Liverpool from Manchester was told he would have serve a minimum of ten years.
Exeter Crown Court heard he and another man had a deep hatred of the soul singer because of her friendship with Prince William and Prince Harry. Their plan went wrong when they crashed their car near her home.
Gregg Easteal reports.
In a written statement released after the verdicts, Joss Stone said:
I'd like to thank everyone for all their support and kind wishes. I am relieved the trial is now over and that these men are no longer in a position to cause harm to anyone.
This has been a long and difficult investigation. While on the face of it the circumstances speak for themselves, the enquiry has involved some complex areas of law and presented significant challenges to the investigation team.
I would like to thank those members of the public who recognised the suspicious behaviour of Liverpool and Bradshaw and acted positively by calling the police, along with those who have supported the investigation by providing witness statements.
– Superintendent Steve Parker, Senior Investigating Officer
Finally I would like to thank Joss Stone, her family and management for their ongoing support and assistance to the investigation team throughout this investigation, despite the distressing and disturbing nature of the events which were being uncovered.
Det Serg Martin Sutcliffe said the evidence found by Devon and Cornwall police painted a clear picture of the intentions of two men who conspired to kill and rob Joss Stone.
Both Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw were found guilty this afternoon.
Wendy Joseph, the mother of Joss Stone, has issued a statement after two men were found guilty of conspiring to rob and murder the soul singer.
The mother said: "Joss would like to thank everyone for their support and all of their good wishes.
"Joss and myself and indeed our whole family are relieved the trial is now over and that these men are no longer in the position to cause harm to anyone"
The judge told the defendants he regards them as dangerous men. He told Kevin Liverpool it was a "crazy scheme by a crazy person which was likely to fail... It was your intention to kill Joss Stone and to rob her. I regard you a very dangerous man".