Joss Stone plot investigators reveal weapons cache
Police today revealed the lethal arsenal of weapons which were found in the car of two men who are accused of plotting to murder and rob singer Joss Stone.
The haul includes a Samurai sword, knives, a metal spike chisel and hammers. Also in the kit found in the battered Fiat Punto were maps, handwritten notes, bags, hosepipe, black balaclava helmets and black gloves.
The police also released a photo of the red car the pair damaged by crashing as they drove down from their home in Manchester to Devon to carry out the alleged plot.
Police disclosed images of a crossbow and BB gun found in a cupboard at the ground-floor flat the pair shared in Manchester – but those weapons were not in the haul found by Devon and Cornwall Police when they arrested the pair seven miles from the soul singer’s rural home at Ashill in June 2011.
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The pictures of the key exhibits in the prosecution case were released as prosecutor Simon Morgan concluded the Crown’s case against the pair
– Kevin Liverpool, 35, and Junior Bradshaw, 32.
The trial jury was told yesterday that no physical evidence had been found from Bradshaw.
A detective told the court that no fingerprints from Bradshaw had been found on any of the weapons or exhibits seized.
And Det Sgt Martin Sutcliffe – second in charge of the inquiry into the plot to murder and rob the singer – told the jury that no text messages relevant to the allegations were sent or received by Bradshaw.
The officer also said the same was true of any telephone calls and that nothing could be found that could be attributed to Bradshaw in any diary or handwriting.
Det Sgt Sutcliffe also agreed under cross-examination by Bradshaw’s barrister, Martin Meeke QC, that there was ‘no “direct evidence that he had researched Joss Stone or printed maps”.
Mr Meeke told the jury that Bradshaw had been jailed in the past 11 times for breaching a signing-on order telling police where he lived, after he was convicted of exposing himself on the steps of Leeds Town Hall in 2006.
The defence lawyer said Bradshaw had also appeared at the Old Bailey after sleeping rough in London and that court gave him a hospital order and he was admitted to the Manchester Royal Infirmary’s mental unit.
Liverpool refused to give police any handwriting samples and the jury heard there were 77 matches out of 100 fingerprints found on exhibits.
The court heard the crossbow and BB gun were found in their flat but judge Francis Gilbert QC said it had no string and was “not in working order”.
The jury was told Liverpool had previous convictions for assault and for having bladed articles, or knives, in public places.
Exeter Crown Court heard on one occasion in 2007 he had a knife in a holdall along with a ski mask and gloves which was found during a stop and search.
He has also been given a community sentence in 2010 with a mental health requirement.
Joss Stone gave evidence earlier this week and told the jury that the first she knew about the plot to murder her was when the police turned up at her home.
The Crown say the motive for the conspiracy may have been robbery – the court heard Liverpool owed £920 in court fines. Bradshaw had no outstanding fines.
Miss Stone said she had Royal connections having sung at concerts for the Princess Diana concert and a charity event for Prince Harry.
She was a guest at the wedding of Prince William and Kate.
Local postman Alex Greening told the court he say two black men from Manchester in narrow country lanes near the singer’s home and claimed one of the man showed him a photo of the singer and asked where she lived.
Det Sgt Sutcliffe said yesterday no photo of the singer was recovered.
The Crown has completed its case and the defence will begin on Monday.
The two men deny conspiracy to murder, rob and cause gbh with intent to the internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter.