Littleport mother asked four different men to murder her ex-husband, court hears

Victoria Breeden, of Black Horse Drove, Littleport, is on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court accused of

Victoria Breeden, of Black Horse Drove, Littleport, is on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court accused of attempting to have her ex-husband killed. Picture: GOOGLE STREET VIEW - Credit: Archant

A Littleport mother is on trial accused of attempting to have her ex killed after their relationship broke down and she lost custody of their child.

The trial jury at Chelmsford Crown Court heard Victoria Breeden was interested in taking revenge on Rob Parkes and tried four times to persuade different men to kill him.

Breeden has pleaded not guilty to four counts of soliciting to murder Mr Parkes over a period of more than five years, but it is claimed she had offered one of the men £5,000.

The four charges accuse Breeden, of Black Horse Drove, of: trying to persuade Hamish Lowry-Martin, Daniel Proctor, Graham Wall and Earl Gernon to murder Rob Parkes between 1 January 2014 and 1 October 2019.

Prosecuting counsel, Christopher Paxton QC told the jury of eight women and four men that Breeden, a university graduate hatched her plan to get the attacks carried out, in her desire for revenge on Mr Parkes after he won custody of their daughter following the breakdown of their marriage.

She had, said Mr Paxton, been in a relationship with some of the men who she had approached. Others were just friends.

The QC continued: "These were not empty words she spoke in a pique of temper, she had the financial means to fund her plan.

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"Each of the solicitations to murder had or concerned one target and that was her ex husband."

The jury heard that Breeden and Mr Parkes met at university in 1999. They married in 2004. However, between 2006 and 2008 the marriage broke down. It was in the aftermath of that Mr Parkes won custody of their child.

Breeden was said by Mr Paxton to have been motivated in her "serious and deadly intention" by the "bitterness and anger" she felt over legal proceedings after the break-up.

He continued: "This drove her, or drove her in part, to seek retribution against Mr Parkes."

"The defendant had both the motive and means to solicit others to kill or murder Mr Parkes on her behalf.

"It is through good fortune alone that her plans have not been fulfilled.

"The fact that he lives does not mean the defendant was not serious in what she sought to do."

He accused Breeden of making "concerted and persistent" efforts to persuade the men to carry out her wishes but they had been "unwilling to entertain the solicitations to murder."

It was alleged that she had described her ex-husband to one of the men, Hamish Lowry-Martin, as a "b*****d" and had asked Mr Martin to "sort him out" saying that if he knew someone who could do it she could raise £5,000.

Breeden, who also has two other children, was said to have asked him about it repeatedly.

As she continued to ask him about arranging something, he then had to tell her he did not want to have any more conversations about the matter, the court heard.

And after getting into a relationship with Daniel Proctor she was said to have asked him: "I want somebody killed. Can you help?". He had refused.

In October 2018 it is alleged she asked Graham Wall, to kill Mr Parkes, telling him: "If you can't do that, then you are of no use to me."

And last year she is said to have asked the fourth man, Earl Gernon, to carry out the killing. That request is said to have been recorded on a mobile phone which is expected to be played in court.

Hamish Lowry-Martin giving evidence today the jury how Breeden asked him if he knew people who would be prepared to attack her ex.

He said that he got to know Breeden when she lived on a boat near to him on a marina in Bedford and that she had told him: "If you know somebody, there's money in it for you - £5,000."

He said he later told his wife and the marina manager about the conversations.

The hearing is expected to last six days.