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Hitman jailed for lack of death

Kent: you can't even trust the hired killers

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A man from Kent, England has been jailed for failing to kill a woman despite accepting money to carry out the hit.

The would-be hitman, Kevin Reeves of Snodland near Rochester, promised Christine Ryder he would arrange her slaying in exchange for a large bag of cash.

But despite receiving payments totalling £20,000, Reeves failed to do any actual whacking and, as a result, Ms Ryder decided to get the lawyers in.

A court yesterday agreed with Ms Ryder and sentenced Reeves to 15 months in prison for deception. And people complain about British Justice...

The two met in a Gillingham mental hospital. Ms Ryder had been admitted following a suicide attempt - Reeves told her he knew someone who would kill her for £2,500. After leaving hospital, Ms Ryder contacted Reeves, who told her the price had gone up to £5,000. Ms Ryder gave him a cheque and was told she would be killed in a drive-by shooting on 11 June 2003. But shortly before the date Reeves telephoned to cancel the killing.

Reeves extracted a further £15,000, blaming problems with the previous hitman, and told Ms Ryder he would kill her himself on 28 November. The day before the planned killing he wrote Ryder a letter, again cancelling the blood bath but reassuring her, "things are still on, so don't panic".

Judge Veronica Hammerton said: "This was a calculated deception, repeated three times... In all the circumstances, these offences are so serious that a custodial sentence is unavoidable." She also ordered Reeves to hand over the £2,000 he has saved up to pay Ms Ryder back.

For a fantastic local version of this story, including pictures of both parties, have a look at Kent Online here.®

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