Jail term for 'hitman' attempt

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 22 Februari 2013 | 19.55

A LAUNCESTON man who tried to hire a hitman to kill his estranged wife -- but got an undercover policeman instead -- has been jailed for four years.

Darryl Scott Donohue, 41, of Invermay, was the first Tasmanian convicted of incitement to murder.

He also pleaded guilty to stalking over a six-month period.

Chief Justice Ewan Crawford said the circumstances of the incitement to murder were chilling.

"Aggravating factors of both crimes are that he was acting in breach of a court's family violence order," he said.

"An aggravating factor of the incitement to murder is that despite police having spoken to him about what he was planning he maintained it.

"The incitement was not a spur of the moment decision but a pre-meditated plan that extended at least for a month."

The court heard that Donohue was angry that he could not get access to his children after a family violence order was put in place.

He approached a man he did not know at a barbecue to kill his wife for $10,000.

The man told police who then set up a sting giving Donohue the phone number of an undercover policeman.

After a meeting with the proposed "hitman" Donohue was arrested.

Justice Crawford set a non-parole period of two years and he dismissed defence counsel's submission for a partly suspended sentence.

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