News State Western Australia News WA man jailed over in-law hit scheme

WA man jailed over in-law hit scheme

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A wealthy, elderly West Australian businessman has been sentenced to eight years and six months in jail for attempting to have his former daughter-in-law murdered.

Brian Vincent Attwell, 74, was in November found guilty after a five-day trial in the Albany Courthouse, charged with the rare offence of attempting to procure the commission of a crime.

The court heard the accused had asked a truck diver, who approached him desperate for work with his civil contracting company AD Contractors, to kill 50-year-old Michelle Patreena Attwell after becoming frustrated with a protracted, bitter legal dispute between her and his son following the breakdown of their marriage.

The driver informed police, who instructed him to set up a meeting between Attwell and an undercover policeman.

Attwell met the policeman twice at a beach near the woman’s home and paid $10,000 in two instalments as a down payment on a $30,000 job, telling the officer to bind her in duct tape, strangle her and bury her in a 30-foot hole dug by an excavator.

On Tuesday, Justice Ralph Simmonds said a term of immediate imprisonment was appropriate for such a serious offence.

Attwell will be eligible for parole after serving six years and six months in jail.

He spent more than six months in remand.

Attwell said via video link from Albany that he intended to appeal.