THREE hundred bucks and a packet of smokes.
That was the bounty that Hunterview mother and daughter Leanne and Tiffany Loughrey offered a would-be hitman to "get rid" of Leanne's ex-husband's new girlfriend.
Upset at the breakdown of her 22-year marriage to Tiffany’s father, Stephen Loughrey, and certain her ex-husband’s new partner was to blame, Leanne decided the only way to get him back was to take her out.
"We've got a favour to ask," Tiffany, 22, told a man they ran into in a Singleton shopping centre car park on September 26 last year.
"Do you know anyone or would you get rid of someone for 300 bucks and a packet of smokes?"
Do you know anyone or would you get rid of someone for 300 bucks and a packet of smokes?Tiffany Loughrey asked a man in a car park at Singleton on September 26 last year.
"TIffany's father has run off with this lady and we need her killed," Leanne, 47, chimed in.
"We need her gone.
"We want him back and the only way that's gonna happen is if she's gone," Tiffany told the man.
Seemingly unperturbed by this grave proposition, the man told the pair he was "in a rush" and would talk to them later.
Leanne gave him her number and later that day the man called to say he had found them a contract killer.
"I have a mate that’s interested,” the man told Leanne.
“He wants cash up front.
“Let us know when you’re good to go.”
Two days later, in the early hours of the morning, the man met the pair in the front yard of their Acacia Circuit home and Leanne handed over $300 in cash and a packet of Winfield Red cigarettes.
"I want proof," Leanne told him. "I want her phone and the ring off her finger."
But the man later told detectives he never intended to go through with organising the murder.
“Old mate [the fictitious hitman] said just for the f--- around you’re not getting your money back and he reckons they know everything,” the man wrote to Tiffany on Facebook Messenger two days after the money for the hit changed hands.
The man told the Loughreys his contract killer had informed the victim’s family.
"You just got ripped off for asking to kill someone for 300 bucks and a pack of ciggies,” he wrote.
Leanne had tried as early as April, 2016, to find someone willing to murder her love rival.
"Would you do a job for me?" Leanne asked an old friend, not long after the pair moved into Hunterview.
"I'd pay ya. "Can you get rid of a b---- for me that's with me husband now.
"I love him, I want him back.
“I want her killed.
"I know where she lives, I can give you the address.
"I can tell ya what time me ex-husband leaves for work each morning."
The man told Leanne he would do it once she had the cash and a foolproof murder plot.
"I can get 10 grand together," Leanne assured him.
But this would-be hitman, like the man the Loughreys ran into in the car park, had no intention of harming the target.
Both men told police they said they would facilitate the murder to see how serious the Loughreys were.
And it turned out Leanne was deadly serious.
A social darts player at one of the local pubs, Leanne had even thought of a cover story.
"Do it on a darts night," she told the man.
"So we've got an alibi.
“Why don’t you come to darts on Monday night at the Percy and I’ll point her out to ya, so you know what she looks like.”
The next day she asked the man if he was still interested in the contract.
“Yeah, just get the cash,” he replied.
“I want half up front.”
But nothing eventuated and there was no more discussion about the matter until the pair saw each other again in August, 2016.
Again Leanne asked the man if he would murder her ex-husband’s new girlfriend and again he said he would.
And again arrangements were made for the man to get a look at his target.
But nothing ever happened.
Eventually, word of the bungled murder plot got back to the woman’s family and the police were called.
Detectives arrested Tiffany and Leanne at home on October 10 last year.
They were interviewed and both denied trying to set up the woman’s murder.
The pair were initially remanded in custody, but were granted strict Supreme Court bail in November last year.
Last week, in Newcastle Local Court, Leanne pleaded guilty to two counts of solicit to murder, while Tiffany pleaded guilty to one count.
The pair appeared in Newcastle District Court on Thursday to get a sentence date.
Leanne, represented by public defender John Fitzgerald, and Tiffany, by public defender Peter Krisenthal, will remain on conditional bail until they are sentenced on April 27 next year.
The mother and daughter face the maximum of 25 years in jail on each charge.