The diocese where a convicted murderer went to church has questioned some of the facts presented in a recent TV crime drama.

The BBC series The Sixth Commandment portrays the story of Peter Farquhar, a teacher, who was killed in 2015 by Ben Field.

In the show, Field is shown to be a warden at Stowe Parish Church and also a trainee vicar.

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But the Diocese of Oxford has since disputed such claims, saying that he was never ‘considered for ordination training.’

Oxford Mail: Timothy Spall as Peter Farquhar in Sixth Commandment Picture: BBC

The Diocese of Oxford has said however that he was due to attend a Bishops Advisory Panel at which we would have been considered for training.

Field conned two pensioners Mr Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin into getting them to change their wills.

He did this by manipulating them into fake relationships and portraying himself as a very religious man.

Field murdered Mr Farquhar in Maids Moreton in Buckinghamshire in October 2015, for which he is currently serving a life sentence after being found guilty in 2019.

He was found not guilty of plotting to kill Miss Moore-Martin but pled guilty to defrauding her.

The Diocese of Oxford also address on its website the date that Field started attending Stowe Church.

A statement said: “Field first joined the congregation at St Mary's in 2013.

“He became PCC secretary, a role elected by the congregation, in September 2014, and later became a 'deputy warden' at the church. He was confirmed in November 2015. 

Oxford Mail: Éanna Hardwicke as Ben Field in Sixth Commandment Picture: BBC

“The role of deputy warden is not a formal office in the Church of England and has no legal definition.

"The BBC has said in response to these claims by the Diocese of Oxford that the writers and producers of the programme carried out extensive research into the case.

"The claim that Ben Field was never considered for ordination training is incorrect and there is considerable documentary evidence to the contrary."

The Oxford Mail has learned that the Criminal Cases Review Commission has received an application that it investigates the case - with a view to seeing whether senior judges should hear a fresh appeal.

Set up in the 1990s, the Commission investigates potential miscarriages of justice.

Typically, it will only take a case to the Court of Appeal where someone has already unsuccessfully appealed their conviction and where new evidence has come to light or a novel legal argument developed.

A spokesman for the CCRC told the Oxford Mail: “An application has been received related to this case. It would be inappropriate for us to discuss the application or make any comment at this stage.”