A woman who tried to hire a hitman to kill a former colleague after an affair has been found guilty of inciting murder.
Helen Hewlett, 44, from King’s Lynn in Norfolk, paid £17,000 as a deposit on a website used to recruit hitmen, as was her case.
She was arrested after police linked her to payments on the site.
The court learned that her target was a 50-year-old colleague, with whom she fell in love after a short romance.
The jurors were told that Hewlett had placed an order on the dark web saying they “needed to kill someone in Norfolk”, adding that it was “vital, it’s like an accident.”
The couple met while they were working at Linda McCartney’s frozen food factory in Fakenham and kissed in her car.
During the trial, the victim said that Hewlett “became obsessed with him” and bombarded him with emails and text messages for two years until August 2022, urging him to meet.
These include sexy images and videos of herself.
Helen Hewlett became obsessed with a work colleague after they kissed in Linda McCartney’s parking lot where they both worked.
When the man left to work at a nearby chocolate factory in Kinnerton, Hewlett also managed to find work there.
While in Kinnerton, the court heard that Hewlett filed two complaints against the man with his employers, accusing him of harassment, homophobia and racial slurs.
The company told the man that it was not the case to answer, and he was advised to contact the police.
Asked by prosecutor Marty Blair why he eventually went to the police, he replied: “I just wanted it to stop. I just wanted to be left alone.”
Ms. Hewlett followed her victim to the Kinnerton factory, getting a job there after joining the company.
The court learned that the police visited Hewlett and she stopped trying to contact her victim for a few days, but shortly thereafter started emailing again, telling her to “sorry”.
Prior to posting the request on the site, Hewlett placed the money in a blocked third-party account.
In an attempt to find the killer, she provided the victim’s home and work address, as well as other personal details.
Hewlett took out several loans to pay off the hitman, but investigators were unable to tell if the money went to the would-be hitman or if the online marketplace site for assassins was a scam.
The story goes on
After the verdict was handed down, Detective Inspector Paul Morton said: “This has been a very complex and technical trial, requiring a huge amount of information to be considered.
“This is a rare type of crime and just goes to show that the dark web is still not a safe place for criminals.”
The defendant was cleared of charges of harassment involving fear or violence that caused serious anxiety or anxiety, but was found guilty of a lesser charge of harassment without serious anxiety or anxiety between January 2021 and August 2022.
Hewlett is expected to be sentenced in April.
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