The daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur has been found not guilty of helping her father to hire a hitman to kill her former boyfriend.
Thirty year old Rebecca Deferia stood trial in connections with allegations that she had been part of a arrangements to pay a gang £12,500 to shoot her ex partner Jonathan Catchpole, 30, at his Suffolk home.
The court was told that three hitman burst into the property, shouting “Rebecca wants you dead” as they shot their victim in the chest with a sawn-off shotgun. Mr Catchpole was then left for dead, but managed to survive his horrendous injuries.
While prosecutors claimed that privately-educated Miss Deferia was involved, she denied she was guilty of conspiracy to murder, and she has now been cleared after a trial which lasted for two weeks. The prosecution case was that she had helped to plan the attempted killing, along with her 60 year old father Colin Deferia and four other accomplices, who have all been convicted of the offence.
Not enough evidence
However, Judge David Goodin said there was not enough evidence to lead to a conviction and told the jury that they must found Miss Deferia not guilty. Miss Deferia, who has, up until the verdict, been on bail with a surety of £250,000, cried with relief and said thank you to the judge.
Defending, Jim Sturman QC, said that Miss Deferia had not wanted Mr Catchpole to die and had not been part of any plot to shoot him. He said that her phone and iPad had been used by her father, with whom she lived and worked.
She broke up with Mr Catchpole in 2013 after the couple had been together for five years. In a statement read out after the verdict, she said she would now be reflecting on the future and rebuilding her life after 18 months of “utter misery”.