London

Wife poison plotter Graeme Dust jailed for hitman hiring

A window cleaner from north London who tried to hire a hitman to kill his wife when his attempts to poison her failed has been jailed for six years.

Graeme Dust, 46, of Holmwood Road, Enfield, was introduced to a man who was actually an undercover policeman, the Old Bailey heard.

He admitted soliciting the murder of wife Nina, 46, who was in the public gallery when he was sentenced.

She has forgiven her husband and now wants him back, the court was told.

Dust also pleaded guilty to administering poison to her, through adding sleeping tablets to tea and hot chocolate.

He denied attempted murder, and this was accepted by the prosecution.

Bitter taste

Dust had an affair when his 20-year marriage suffered problems, the court heard.

On separate occasions he added something to his wife's tea and asked her to drink a pink liquid, before putting sleeping tablets in her hot chocolate as they sat in a cafe.

Image caption Graeme Dust has now been forgiven by his wife, who wants him back, the court was told

After Mrs Dust said her drink tasted bitter and sent it back, the owner of the business spotted white powder in the cup, said prosecution solicitor Richard Merz.

Dust asked a friend if he knew anyone who could "get rid" of his wife, but the friend went to the police, the court heard.

A meeting was fixed for Dust to meet a supposed hitman, who was actually an uncover police officer.

Dust told the officer he had tried to poison his wife, adding that he wanted her death to look like an accident or suicide.

He received a four-year sentence for soliciting murder and a further two years in prison for the poisoning offence.

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