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Last Updated: Monday, 28 November 2005, 17:06 GMT
Murders were for money, jury told
Mandy Joseph and Iris Jones
Mandy Joseph and Iris Jones were shot dead on 20 February
A woman charged with murdering two women was trying to buy a home in the months before they were shot, jurors at Luton Crown Court have heard.

Anita Mansfield, 36, was described as "running the ship" in the negotiations.

Ms Mansfield, her husband Michael, of Beccles, Suffolk, and a 15-year-old boy deny murdering Iris Jones, 78, and Mandy Joseph, 34, at Hockliffe, Beds.

The prosecution said on Monday Ms Mansfield hoped their deaths would net enough money for the new house.

Dream home

Her husband Michael, 46, had been fostered by Mrs Jones when he was 10 days old.

He remained at the family home in Hockliffe, where Ms Joseph also lived, until his late teens.

Earlier, Rosamund Horwood QC, prosecuting, said the couple hoped to collect 800,000 on a life insurance policy they had fraudulently taken out in Ms Joseph's name.

The prosecutor said the money was needed to buy the dream home.

The court has been told how, on 20 February, the couple and the teenage boy went to the house in Hockliffe and shot the two women.

On Monday the court heard Ms Mansfield was negotiating to buy a luxury detached home at Barsham, nr Beccles.

Pamela Barber, who was selling the property said Ms Mansfield did "all the talking" and she understood funds were to come from an Irish lottery win, the death of an elderly relative and an injury compensation payout.

Mrs Barber said that in a conversation she had with Ms Mansfield, she was told there was a "hiccup" in raising the funds necessary.

The hearing continues.

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