Friday 20 April 2018

I had no idea anyone wanted to kill me, Joss Stone tells court

File photo dated 09/11/11 of Joss Stone, as Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw appeared at Exeter Crown Court, where the duo are accused of a plot to rob and murder the singer.
File photo dated 09/11/11 of Joss Stone, as Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw appeared at Exeter Crown Court, where the duo are accused of a plot to rob and murder the singer.

Ryan Hooper

POP star star Joss Stone told a court today that she was only aware of an alleged plot to kill her when she was visited by the police.

The 25-year-old was giving evidence in the trial of Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw, who are charged with plotting to rob and kill the singer in June 2011.

Exeter Crown Court heard that the pair were arrested a few miles from Miss Stone's home near Ashill, mid-Devon, with an arsenal of weapons - including a samurai sword - in the boot of their Fiat Punto.

Miss Stone was at home at the time but said she was only aware of the incident when police contacted her later that day.

She told the court: "Apart from someone (police) coming around to say someone is trying to kill me, it was a really nice day.

Speaking about the lack of security at her home, she said: "I've lived in Devon for a long time and nobody really shuts their door."

Describing the security arrangements at her home at the time of the alleged plot, Miss Stone - who said she was happy to be referred to in court by her real name, Jocelyn Stoker - said: "I had an alarm but I did not really turn it on very much.

"I didn't really have a lock on my door... But I do now."

She also agreed that the property, accessed by narrow lanes in a rural part of mid-Devon, was an "open house" for family, friends and her then-boyfriend.

Wearing a white blouse and a black skirt, the singer said: "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 heard that the two defendants were arrested at around 9am on June 13 2011.

Asked by Philip King QC, representing Liverpool, about what happened when police arrived at her home, Miss Stone said: "That was strange - it was a surprise."

Members of the jury were shown copies of Miss Stone's tour diary, charting dates when she was in and out of the country including at the time of the alleged plot.

The record showed the singer was "home" from June 9-20.

Asked by Mr King if there was any reason for Miss Stone to "keep quiet" about where she lived, the Fell In Love With A Boy singer smiled as she said: "Everybody knows where everybody lives (in the area).

"I didn't really feel worried about it.

"I think I can say that for everybody who lives around there. Until now."

But she added: "It is not nice to have press people sit outside your house and stuff. There's a certain amount of privacy everybody likes."

She described her tour diary as "private", but said some people wanting to know whether she was at home or not might "put two and two together" with the help of her published concert dates.

Miss Stone said: "[The diary] is private to me, my band, my crew, my mum and my dad.

"I need to tell people where I am playing or else nobody would turn up to watch. I think somebody would put two and two together and say 'the tour ends on this day, she will be home on this day'.

Asked by Martin Meeke QC, defending Bradshaw, if that private diary was the sort of thing that could end up on the internet, the singer replied: "No, I would hope not."

She said the only way somebody would know if she was home - outside of her friendship group, family, colleagues or neighbours - would be if they "knew somebody who knew something".

Press Association

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