The woman accused of attempting to find a hitman to murder her parents is back behind bars and police are now investigating her over an alleged string of parcel thefts.
The 26-year-old, who stood to inherit a share of $8 million if her parents died, has denied knowing anything about their alleged attempted murder. She was released on bail in late April.
But she was hauled back before the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday (2 July) after breaching her bail’s 8:00 pm to 7:00 am curfew condition.
Court documents say at about 3:30 am that morning, police had gone to a house in Watson due to a “suspicious vehicle” parked nearby.
The woman, who cannot be named, was sitting in the driver’s seat and when police asked her why she was there and not at her home as required by her bail condition, she said she was driving a friend to the house.
Prosecutor Christina Muthurajah told the court, the friend was not there. She said both the house and the friend were known to police.
While describing the admitted breach as “quite stupid” and showing “a level of defiance”, the woman’s lawyer, Adrian McKenna of McKenna Taylor, said his client had been called to the address by the friend – someone she met while in custody – who needed help.
It was the second breach of her bail conditions, but he said the first time was a “technical” breach as when police rang her doorbell, she was in a part of the house where she couldn’t hear it ring.
Mr McKenna said revoking bail would be “fairly drastic” due to the expected delays in the case.
He said the prosecution had to make requests for assistance to the UK and US for certain information, and while the normal timeframe of such requests was 12 months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be longer, and it was “realistic” that the case could take two years to reach a trial.
He suggested his client be given “a very stern warning”.
But Ms Muthurajah said the case would not necessarily take two years to reach a trial. She said the Attorney-General’s Department had passed the prosecution’s information requests to departments in the UK and US.
A senior constable told the court police allegedly had numerous reports the woman was accessing social media and the internet, and had the Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and Kik apps on a phone. If proven, these allegations would also be violations of her bail.
The officer said police had concerns about the woman’s debt, which was believed to be the “catalyst” for her original charges.
She also said the woman was being investigated over parcel thefts as her car had allegedly been identified in these incidents.
Ms Muthurajah said another woman was involved in the alleged thefts and once she was identified by police, who were looking through closed-circuit television footage, charges would be laid.
At the end of the hearing, Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said “much noise” had been made over other suspected criminal activity and internet use, but police had taken no action over the latter so it would not form part of her considerations.
She did say, however, that the woman’s curfew had been “blatantly breached”. She refused bail.
Despite the fact the hearing ran for almost an hour, the woman, who appeared in the courtroom over the audio-visual link wearing a white face mask, barely moved the entire time.
Police allege she bought $6000-worth of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin on 24 September 2020 and went onto a dark web site that advertised services including “murder for hire”.
“Having trouble using the shop function to submit job enquiry so will do it here. Willing to pay $20,000AUD to have this done as soon as possible. 2 individuals, death by accident if at all possible,” she is alleged to have posted.
She then allegedly provided the names of her parents and their home address, adding: “I require this job to be done ASAP.”
She has pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted murder, two counts of inciting murder, as well as single counts of theft and burglary.
She will return to court in August.