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Joss Stone murder plot man Junior Bradshaw jailed for 18 years

Judge said it may have been a crazy scheme, ‘but it was a very real plan’

A man has been jailed for 18 years for his part in a plot to rob and murder the singer Joss Stone at her secluded Devon home.

Junior Bradshaw, 32, drove Kevin Liverpool, 35, from Manchester to the soul star's Devon home with the intention of killing her.

The pair, who had shared a flat in the Longsight area of Manchester, harboured such deep hatred for Ms Stone that they conspired to behead her using a samurai sword and dump her remains in a river.

They were arrested in June 2011 as they drove along country lanes close to the house, raising the suspicions of a postman and several others by asking for directions in a car loaded with equipment, including balaclavas, an improvised body bag, knives and metal spikes.

Liverpool was given a life sentence - with a minimum of 10 years and eight months - following a three-week trial in which it was revealed he wrote notes detailing the planned killing and criticising the singer for her links to the Royal Family.

Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, said: "This may have been the crazy scheme of a crazy person... but it was a very real plan.”

Bradshaw has a history of schizophrenia, which the trial was told meant he was incapable of taking part in any plot and could not be linked forensically to any of the weapons or notes. He suffers from a form of the mental illness which leaves him incoherent and disorganised with little awareness of the passing of time.

He told his trial he thought he was “going on a day out” when he travelled towards Stone’s home and had never heard of the singer. But a forensic psychiatrist called by prosecutors said the would-be killer was well at the time of his arrest and was capable of organising his life.