Mother admits going on dark web site but denies trying to hire hitman to kill ex-lover
Spurned mother admits going on dark web site ‘Online Killers Market’ looking for ‘revenge’ but denies trying to hire hitman using £20,000 Bitcoin to kill her ex-lover
- Helen Hewlett, 43, was arrested after police linked her payments to the site
- Norwich Crown Court in Norfolk heard she included the would-be victim’s name Paul Belton, home address, work address and his photo
- Hewlett insisted to police that she had not intended for the killing to go ahead
A spurned mother accused of hiring a hitman to kill a former colleague has admitted going onto the darkweb to look for ‘revenge’.
Police found that Helen Hewlett, 43, had paid more than £20,000 in Bitcoin into an online account on a darkweb site called Online Killers Market.
She was arrested after police linked her Bitcoin payments to the site where she had placed an order titled ‘Job in Norfolk UK’ stating: ‘Need someone killed in Norfolk – vital it looks like an accident’.
Norwich Crown Court in Norfolk heard that in the order tracked by police, Hewlett had included the would-be victim’s name Paul Belton, 50, his home address, work address and a photo of him.
Helen Hewlett, 43, had paid more than £20,000 in Bitcoin into an online account on a darkweb site called Online Killers Market
Paul Belton, 50, allegedly had a hitman contract taken out on him by Hewlett after they had a brief romantic fling
Hewlett, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, denies soliciting murder or stalking Belton between January 2021 and August 2022 after a brief romantic fling turned sour.
The married mother-of-five admitted to police during an interview that she went on the dark web to seek ‘revenge’ but denied she intended to kill her ex-colleague, Belton.
Yesterday, Hewlett’s statement to police was read out in full to jurors: ‘I put a post on a forum.
‘It was to vent more than anything and to say things that I was feeling. It was more stupid than serious.
‘It was a way of making me feel better.’
The court heard how she had placed Bitcoin worth £20,547 into a so-called escrow intermediate account linked to the website before posting the order.
In the police interview Hewlett insisted she had not intended for the killing to go ahead.
She stated that she still controlled the funds in the escrow account and believed no one else had access, adding: ‘You have to give your OK for someone to be done.’
Norwich Crown Court in Norfolk heard that in the order tracked by police, Hewlett had included the would-be victim’s name Paul Belton, 50, his home address, work address and a photo of him
Det Sgt Mark Stratford, of the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, said to the court that there was no indication that the account on the website was a genuine Escrow account.
Real Escrow accounts would have had a multi-signature wallet to authorise payment when all parties were in agreement.
Hewlett admitted not knowing whether the person she was communicating with on the site who went by username ‘Marksman’ would go ahead anyway.
Prosecuting Marti Blair said that after placing the advert Hewlett had searched for news articles about fatal road accidents, a body being found in a ditch in King’s Lynn and someone being found dead on Holkham beach in Norfolk.
After Hewlett’s arrest a marker was placed on Mr Belton’s home address and phone numbers meaning that emergency calls would be treated as an ‘urgent threat to life’, the court heard.