'I'm fine', Joss Stone tells fans

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The Independent Online

Singer Joss Stone said she was "getting on with life as normal" today as police questioned two men on suspicion of conspiracy to rob and murder after being arrested close to the millionaire's home.

The soul star, 24, reassured fans she was "absolutely fine" and thanked them for their concern.

The men, aged 30 and 33 and from the Manchester area, were arrested in Cullompton, Devon, at around 10am on Monday.

Police said the pair were initially arrested for possession of offensive weapons and being equipped to steal.

Stone - whose hits include Super Duper Love and Fell In Love With A Boy - is estimated to be worth around £9 million after finding huge success in the US.

Officers found swords, rope and a body bag near the singer's isolated country home, the Sun newspaper reported.

They also found detailed maps and aerial photos of her property, it was reported.

Stone said today: "I'd like to thank everyone for their concern but I'm absolutely fine and getting on with life as normal while the police continue with their enquiries."

Police officers stood guard in front of the ornate gates outside the house, which is in a rural farming area, some miles north of Exeter.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said officers went to an address in Cullompton after alert residents notified officers about a suspicious-looking vehicle.

"Officers attended the area at around 10am (on Monday) and subsequently arrested the occupants of a red Fiat Punto.

"Major crime detectives are continuing to investigate."

Last month the Sunday Times Rich List ranked Stone the fifth wealthiest British and Irish pop star aged under 30.

Detective Inspector Steve Parker, who is leading the investigation, said: "The two men in custody had in their possession information relating to an individual in the Cullompton area and items which led us to suspect that they may have intended to commit a criminal offence.

"Police inquiries continue and the men remain in custody.

"We're unable to say any more at this time but I would like to thank the local residents for reporting the suspicious car.

"Our officers are currently carrying out reassurance patrols and it's important to stress that no properties have been burgled and no individuals have been harmed."

One of Stone's neighbours, Florence Webber, said the rural area was usually quiet.

"You never think anything like this is going to happen in a place like this," she said.

"We didn't know it had happened until this morning. It is a quiet area. I don't know that she (Stone) is there that often."

Neighbour Simon Allsopp, who said he knew the family, said: "They're fine. They are used to it, being under siege - though not like this."