Wife offered 'hitman' pounds 90,000, court told

A BUSINESSWOMAN offered an undercover policeman posing as a hitman pounds 90,000 to murder her adulterous husband, a jury was told yesterday.

Susan Gill, 39, a jeans saleswoman, was said to be jealous at her husband's infidelity and angry at his violence.

But Leeds Crown Court was told her plot was discovered when she tried to recruit the police officer to carry out the killing. She allegedly told him to make the murder look like an accident.

Mrs Gill, of Shipley, West Yorkshire, denies soliciting Malcolm Black to murder her husband last year.

David Gripton, for the prosecution, said the mother-of-three married Michael Gill, 10 years her junior, in 1984. It was her second marriage and the relationship was stormy. She allegedly told the hitman: 'It was lust that drove me to him. The lust wore thin.' Mr Gripton said Mrs Gill was on a business trip to Hong Kong in early 1991 when her husband boasted he was having an affair. 'When she returned she was furious,' Mr Gripton said.

In June 1991 Mrs Gill was granted an injunction against her husband. She claimed he had beaten her up. Later that month she allegedly asked a family friend with criminal convictions to murder Mr Gill. But the friend was horrified and contacted police who arranged for a detective to pose as a hitman.

Mrs Gill allegedly told the officer she wanted her husband killed and said he could take as payment the pounds 90,000 insurance on her husband's life plus her car which he could steal and sell. Further meetings in a hotel car park were secretly recorded.

The case continues.