‘Obsessed’ factory worker Linda McCartney, 43, ‘paid hitman £20,000 to kill her married lover when he dumped her after an affair’
- Helen Hewlett allegedly stalked Paul Belton for two years after their affair ended
- The couple, both married with children, had their affair at the factory where they worked
- The defendant denies stalking and killing Mr. Belton last year
An ‘obsessed’ factory worker paid £20,000 to hire a hitman after she was turned down by a colleague with whom she had a brief fling, a court heard yesterday.
Helen Hewlett, 43, allegedly stalked 50-year-old Paul Belton for more than two years before making false claims of sexual harassment and eventually turning to the dark web to hire a killer.
Her statement on a site called Online Killers Market said ‘It is vital that it look like an accident’ – but a jury was told she was arrested after a tip-off to police.
Mr. Belton gave a behind-the-scenes witness yesterday and said, “I just wanted to be left alone to get on with my life. I just wanted it to stop.”
Helen Hewlett, pictured, is accused of paying £20,000 for a hitman to kill a man who rejected her advances
Her trial at Norwich Crown Court, pictured, learned that the pair had met while working in a factory
Hewlett and Mr. Belton, who are both married with children, met at Linda McCartney’s vegetarian frozen food factory in Fakenham, Norfolk.
Prosecutor Marti Blair KC, told Norwich Crown Court that the defendant’s pursuit of staff trainer Mr. Belton had been “ruthless,” leading to “intimate touches and kisses” in a car.
Mr Belton “immediately regretted” what had happened and told Hewlett the relationship could not continue.
He claimed she became “obsessed” with him and bombarded him with emails and texts, as well as sending nude photos of herself and a video of her performing a sexual act on herself, which he deleted.
In desperation, he resigned and moved to the Kinnerton Confectionary factory in the same town, which makes chocolate products for Tesco – but Hewlett is said to have followed him there.
The object of her affection changed shifts to avoid her and blocked her messages, the court heard, leading to her filing formal complaints that he bullied and sexually harassed women and made homophobic remarks.
“She was determined to ruin his reputation at work,” Ms Blair said.
Messages allegedly sent by Hewlett to Mr. Belton at the time included a message stating, “I hope it was worth it. You’re nothing but a hateful bully.”
Another accused him of being a “coward,” adding, “That’s why you can’t face me, because you’re wrong.”
The allegations turned out to be malicious and Mr Belton was advised by Human Resources to speak to police, jurors were told.
However, his family found out what had happened after his daughter saw him visit a police station on a mobile phone tracking app.
Hewlett, of King’s Lynn, told police during an interview that she “had no intention of going through with the order” to kill Mr. Belton and that she could have withdrawn the money from Online Killers Market at any time.
But Ms Blair added: “These actions go far beyond mere fantasy.”
Hewlett denies stalking from January 1, 2020 to August 13 last year and murder between August 1 and August 13 last year.
The process continues.