Belfast Telegraph

Ex-writer for The Bill 'tried to hire hitman'

By Emily Pennink

A former scriptwriter for The Bill told a fake hitman he thought about throwing his partner off the cliffs every day of their holiday in the south of France, a court heard yesterday.

David Harris (68) allegedly offered £200,000 to get rid of Hazel Allinson in a carjacking or mugging so he could get his hands on her money and £800,000 home in Amberley, West Sussex.

But his dream of living out his days by the sea with younger girlfriend Ugne Cekaviciute was scuppered after a 6ft 4in prospective hitman, who went by the name of Zed, reported him to City of London Police, jurors were told.

Zed - real name Duke Dean - then got Harris to meet undercover police officer 'Chris' in a Sainsbury's car park in Balham, south London, on November 11 last year.

The officer gave evidence in Harris' Old Bailey trial behind a screen as an hour-long covert video of their meeting in his car was played to jurors.

In the video, Harris told the fake hitman he would be "sad" about Ms Allinson's death, but was "deadly serious".

He told Chris: "We were down in the south of France a month ago. Every day I was waking up thinking, is this the day I can get her on the edge and close enough to bump into her."

When the officer asked him if he meant "on the cliffs", Harris replied: "Yeah."

During the sting operation, Chris repeatedly asked Harris what he wanted him to do exactly, how he could get the money and whether he was really serious.

Explaining why he should deal with him alone from now on, the officer said: "I have been in this game a long time and the reason I have not been caught by the Feds is it's a closed shop."

Harris told him he wanted him to arrange "some kind of accident", like a carjacking or mugging, which would be "as serious as it can get".

The defendant denies soliciting murder and claims he was not planning to kill Ms Allinson, but was simply researching a thriller novel.

The trial continues.

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