Two men have appeared in court accused of plotting to rob and kill pop singer Joss Stone.

Junior Bradshaw, 32, and Kevin Liverpool, 35, of Manchester, were arrested near the Devon home of the 25-year-old singer in June 2011.

The pair were arrested armed with a sword, jackknife and hammer plus written notes that revealed "perfectly clearly" their intentions to rob and kill the singer.

They were detained after "eagle-eyed" residents in the isolated community of Cullompton alerted police about their strange behaviour, the court heard.

A jury at Exeter Crown Court was told that Stone was home when the men were picked up by police. They deny conspiracy to murder, rob and cause grievous bodily harm.

Simon Morgan, prosecuting, said: "This case is all about a decision by a group of individuals, of whom these defendants are two, to rob and kill Joss Stone.

"That is not a phrase I have plucked from the air. It is used in documents written by Mr Liverpool during the planning stages of this plot.

"We don't know who the others are but that does not matter. Your concern is whether these two were part of the plot. It doesn't matter what part they took or planned to take.

"Joss Stone is an extremely wealthy young woman. These defendants drove from Manchester to find her. Fortunately they were not successful, although she was at home."

The trial is expected to last three weeks. The singer is not expected to appear in court during the trial.

Stone released her debut album, The Soul Sessions, in 2003. Her fifth album, The Soul Sessions Vol 2, was released in 2012.