A man accused of plotting to kidnap and murder soul singer Joss Stone has told a court he had never heard of the star before his arrest.

Junior Bradshaw, 32, and his pal Kevin Liverpool, 35, were arrested by police in a car just miles from Stone's remote countryside mansion in June 2011, and stunned cops discovered a cache of weapons in the vehicle, including a Samurai sword and a hammer.

Paperwork later found at the pair's shared home in Manchester, England suggested they were planning to kidnap and behead the star to get hold of her $16 million (£16 million) fortune and they were charged with several offences.

But taking the stand at Exeter Crown Court, England on Monday (25Mar13), Bradshaw denied being involved in a plot to kill Stone, insisting he had no idea who she was when he was arrested, and claiming he and Liverpool drove more than 200 miles in the dead of night for "a day out".

Bradshaw told the jury, "We were just going on a day out."

When Prosecutor Simon Morgan, Qc, pointed out that their journey began at 2am and asked where they planned to go at that hour, Bradshaw replied, "I don't know."

The court heard Bradshaw has previous convictions for handling stolen goods and driving offences, and has been treated for schizophrenia.

Both men deny conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to commit assault causing grievous bodily harm, and conspiracy to rob.

The trial continues.