Cambridgeshire

Victoria Breeden jailed for trying to get ex-husband murdered

Victoria Breeden. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The court heard a secret recording of Victoria Breeden asking a man how she could make someone "disappear"

A woman who tried to persuade three men to murder her ex-husband after losing custody of a child has been jailed.

Victoria Breeden, 39, sought "revenge" on Rob Parkes and, in a secret recording, was heard asking the cost of making someone "disappear".

Breeden, of Black Horse Drove near Littleport, Cambridgeshire, was found guilty of three counts of soliciting murder and cleared of another.

At Chelmsford Crown Court, she was sentenced to nine years and six months

Her trial had been told that Breeden and Mr Parkes separated in 2008 after four years of marriage, and he had been granted custody of a child, in 2014.

Sentencing her, Mr Justice Chamberlain, said: "The evidence demonstrates that your main motivation in trying to persuade others to kill Rob Parkes was to regain custody.

"It must be obvious to you now that that can't happen."

Device hidden in cupboard

A recorded conversation was played during her trial, in which Breeden was heard asking another man: "How easy is it to get in contact with someone who can make someone disappear?"

Former boyfriend Graham Wall said he made the secret recording using a device hidden in a cupboard because he feared she was cheating.

Mr Wall said Breeden told him to get rid of the audio and went to police several days later as he "became concerned for my safety and for Rob's".

Reading a victim impact statement to the court, Mr Parkes, said the eight-day trial was "harrowing".

"I've never felt as unsafe as I have in the last year," he said.

Mr Parkes thanked Mr Wall for going to the police, which he said "prevented [Breeden] from being successful".

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