What is it with non-career criminals and thinking they can just hire a hitman like they totally won’t get busted? If you’re in the mob, a high-ranking politician, or a wealthy, paranoid billionaire, you’ve probably had a tangle or two with a hitman. But if you’re a retired television producer of a hit cop drama, you might be a little out of your league.
David Harris, producer of British TV Drama The Bill wanted to have his partner of 27 years, scriptwriter Hazel Allinson, murdered. He attempted to hire three different men to kill his wealthy life partner in order to inherit her fortune, sell her home, and live happily ever after with his mistress.
Back in February 2016, Harris approached a mechanic named Chris May for debt collection. It was in this meeting that he made him an offer to kill Allinson. He refused that offer, and instead warned Allinson of Harris’ plan.
Determined to off Allinson, Harris then tried to find a hitman in a man named Duke Dean, known to others as “Zed.” The retired-producer offered £200,000 ($262,040) to take his partner out, but he too refused. Instead, Zed reported Harris to London police.
Rather than approach Harris and question him about his intentions, London police set a trap. Harris, through Zed, met another “prospective hitman,” an undercover police officer named Chris. They captured this:
After snagging that piece of incriminating evidence, police stormed a room at the Balham Lodge hotel. They found Harris lying beside his mistress, naked. His “carefully thought-out” plan had failed.
Harris, however, had a defense ready-to-go: he was “researching a thriller entitled Too Close To Kill, based on his alter-ego, Tom Noble, a wife called Holly … and a ‘sporty’ young woman who worked in a brothel or café.”
That’s all, he was just doing research. He was only talking to prospective hitmen in order to enhance a murder mystery novel. It’s all just one, big misunderstanding, guys.
The courts didn’t buy the defense and found Harris guilty. He has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.