TV producer 'wanted hitmen to kill wife in hospital'

St Richard's Hospital
Image caption The court was told about a plan to kill Hazel Allinson at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester

A man who wanted to run off with a younger woman offered three men sums of money to have his partner murdered - and asked if she could be killed in hospital, a jury has heard.

David Harris, 68, denies three counts of soliciting to murder Hazel Allinson, a former TV scriptwriter on The Bill.

Jurors heard he asked if it could be done while she had surgery for cancer.

The Old Bailey heard he wanted her assets, including the £800,000 property they shared in Amberley, West Sussex.

The court was told Mr Harris approached London mechanic Christopher May in March 2016 and said: "I'm offering you £250,000 to kill my wife."

Jurors heard Mr May tried to warn Ms Allinson but missed her, and then Mr Harris approached a second man, Duke Dean, in October 2016, and offered him up to £175,000.

'Had run up debts'

The court was told Mr Dean alerted police who brought in an undercover detective to pose as "Chris", a third killer for hire, and a meeting was set up between Mr Dean, Harris and "Chris", in a bugged car in London.

The court heard Mr Harris suggested they kill his partner and make it look like a mugging or a carjacking.

Jurors heard a secret recording made by Mr May during another meeting, in which Mr Harris asked if Ms Allinson could be killed in St Richard's Hospital, Chichester.

He said: "She is going in. Her mother and her sister died last year of ovarian cancer so she is going in to have her ovaries out."

He then mentioned she would have five or six weeks convalescing and added: "I don't know if anything can be done then."

Jurors were told Mr Harris had run up debts by showering gifts on a younger woman Ugne Cekaviciute, whom he had first met in a brothel.

Mr Harris, who worked in TV production, claimed he was researching a "thriller" novel he had planned and had no plan to kill Ms Allinson.

The prosecution said Mr Harris wanted both the younger woman and the older woman's money.

The trial continues.

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