A retired GP accused of waging ‘a five year vendetta’ against his Brown Shipley adviser arranged his murder on a ‘Chechen mob’ website, selecting ‘kill the b*****d’ from a drop down menu of choices.
Dr David Crichton is currently on trial at Winchester Crown Court, charged with attempting to solicit the murder of adviser Andrew Bolden, who he blamed for the loss of £300,000 from his £1.8 million pension fund due to a missed tax deadline, the jury heard.
He faces three further charges of sending a malicious communication, including two phone calls and a text message, intended to make Bolden fear he would commit suicide. Crichton denies the charges.
Prosecuting lawyer Simon Jones said that police officers monitoring the dark web page Crime Bay by Chechen Mob found that Chrichton had placed the £3,800 order in February last year, according to the MailOnline.
Other options touted by the website, which required the use of a suitable browser and the creation of a user account, incuded 'beat the s*** out of him', 'set his car on fire', and 'set his house on fire'.
‘The defendant's intention could not be clearer,’ Jones told the court. ‘The steps he took were very clearly an attempt to solicit, ask for, request, seek a murder.
‘The website sets out four very distinctive options and the prosecution say the evidence supports that what he did was select the kill the b*****d option.
‘The order was submitted, the button has been clicked, although no payment was made and there was never any evidence of any contact made.’
Crichton told investigators that he had been drinking heavily and felt suicidal at the time and that he ‘thought it was a game and it wasn't real’. The prosecution claimed he had made eight earlier searches for hitmen in March, however.
The prosecution claimed that Bolden met Crichton during a 2011 seminar on NHS pensions, where he offered paid-for advice on potential investments, with an agreement to offer further advice.
Due to a delayed decision, Crichton later triggered a financial penalty, they added. A formal complaint over the advice provided was rejected by the regulator.
Crichton would later send Bolden several hundred emails before his address was blocked and then in a February 2017 text, he said: 'I am contacting you out of desperation, I believe you are the only person who can help save my life.'