|Eight Years For Chiswick Businesswoman Who Plotted to Kill Former Lover|
Judge calls Carol Ann Hunter "callous and manipulative" as he passes sentence
Local millionaire business woman Carol Ann Hunter has been jailed for eight years for plotting to kill her former partner and his new wife.
Carol Ann Hunter and Colin Love have two children (now teenagers) together and shared homes in Chiswick and Bedfordshire for 22 years before Love left Hunter to marry his college sweetheart Judith Crowshaw. The pair reignited their relationship after getting in contact through the Friends Reunited web site.
Accused of incitement to solicit murder of her former lover, Hunter told the court that "whatever he has done to me I could never hurt him, I still love him and care for him deeply" before going on to blame her new lover Anton Lee, who worked Rothschild's Bank, for instigating the murder plot involving organising a contract killing. Lee, 44, of Stanmore, Middlesex, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to soliciting murder.
During the trial Lee admitted agreeing to help Hunter because he was "blinded by love" for her and told of his shame after contacting a hitman - who turned out to be an undercover policeman - on her behalf. Lee had asked a friend, Bill Niven, if he knew a hitman but Niven had gone straight to the police.
During two meetings with the undercover policeman, Hunter, a former executive with Unilever and Rimmel who was responsible for the Tommy Tippee range, said that she did not have a moral dilemma about killing, but felt that maiming Mrs Love would be better and offer to pay £10,000 for Ms. Crowshaw to be blinded or maimed.
The jury at the Old Bailey unanimously convicted her and Anton Lee of the charge after eight hours' deliberation. During sentencing, Hunter was told by the judge that she was callous and manipulative and had used her besotted lover to achieve her aims.
A police spokesperson said “This was a very serious offence which has been shown by the sentence handed down by the judge.”
March 1, 2007