#AceNewsReport – Aug.09: A Gold Coast woman has been sentenced to six years in jail for hiring a hitman to kill her husband during their divorce battle: The Supreme Court in Brisbane heard that in 2010 Theresa Dalton gave her then-boyfriend Anthony Werner $20,000 to pay his school friend Matthew Neels to murder her husband Malcolm Stewart: Mr Neels never carried out the plot: In March, Dalton was found guilty of attempting to procure a person to murder Mr Stewart after a five-day trial: Dalton will be eligible for parole in August 2021: Before she was sentenced, Dalton stood up to address the judge telling the court, “I am innocent”.
- Theresa Dalton gave then-boyfriend $20,000 to pay his school friend to murder her husband
- Dalton was found guilty of the 2010 crime after a five-day trial
- Her defence lawyer said Dalton had been suffering an adjustment disorder
“I feel this has been a catastrophic miscarriage of justice because I am innocent,” Dalton said: “I am 67 years of age and I have never broken the law in my life — I find myself here for something that I’m not guilty of.”………Defence lawyer Greg McGuire said Dalton was suffering an adjustment disorder at the time of offending, telling the court “she wasn’t thinking straight” and was under enormous stress………..Prosecutor Michael Lehane said Dalton’s ex-husband Malcolm Stewart had suffered emotionally and financially after learning his wife had hired a hitman………………….”The offence was treacherous, pre-meditated, and motivated clearly enough by self-interest,” Mr Lehane told the court……………The Supreme Court was also told Mr Stewart was fearful to go outside, purchased a guard dog to sleep on his bed, and wore a bullet-proof vest night and day for about 14 months.
In sentencing, Justice Sue Brown said the offending had “devastating effects” on Mr Stewart: “Fortunately Mr Neels did not carry out the crime but you, however, did not know that he would not do so,” she said: “You provided a large sum of money to ensure that your plan was carried to fruition — it was more good luck than good measure that the plan was not carried to fruition: “While your ex-husband was not injured, the court has heard about the devastating effects on him upon being told he was the planned target of a hit — nothing justifies that.
“I am satisfied that while you may have been affected by the adjustment disorder, to a lesser extent I also consider you were motivated by self-interest and hostility towards your husband.” ……..Outside court, Mr Stewart said he was disappointed in the sentence: “I think that’s appalling after what she’s done to me over the period of nearly 11 years — I’ve been through sheer hell,” Mr Stewart said.
“She’s destroyed me financially, destroyed me mentally, and put me under a lot of stress and pressure in that time.”
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