Miss Deferia was cleared of planning to have her boyfriend shot dead
Rebecca Deferia, 30, had been accused of an “elaborate” conspiracy with her father to get three men to kill her ex-love Jonathan Catchpole.
One of the hitmen shouted “Rebecca wants you dead” just before Mr Catchpole was blasted in the chest with a sawn-off shotgun at his home in August 2015, a court heard. Miss Deferia, of Red Lodge, near Mildenhall, Suffolk, denied conspiracy to murder Mr Catchpole, who survived the attack in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
The prosecution claimed she had been in a long-running dispute with Mr Catchpole and was tied to the plot by phone calls on pay-as-you-go mobiles.
It was also claimed that iPad internet searches of the floor plans of Mr Catchpole’s new flat showed she had been helping to gather information which would assist the hitmen.
But Judge David Goodin yesterday directed a jury at Ipswich Crown Court to find her not guilty after a two-week trial, saying there was insufficient evidence to convict her.
Miss Deferia’s father Colin, 60, who used to run a building industry products company, was convicted of conspiracy to murder last September and jailed for 26 years.
Colin Deferia had hitmen hired to kill Rebecca's ex-love
My acquittal brings nearly 18 months of utter misery to at least a partial conclusion
Colin Deferia, who lived in a £1million farmhouse in Barking, Suffolk, had persuaded his niece’s boyfriend Paul Baker, 35, to hire Simon Webber, Frank Warren and Andrew Seaton to carry out the shooting.
Baker was jailed for 17 years while Webber, 32, Warren, 52, and Seaton, 40, each got 23 years in jail.
Judge Goodin said there was “exceptionally bad blood” between the Deferia family and Mr Catchpole after the relationship broke up in June 2013.
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Five men have been jailed for the murder of Mr Catchpole
After a two-week trial it was ruled that there was insufficient evidence against Miss Deferia
There was “crushing evidence” in the earlier trial that a plot to frighten off Mr Catchpole had turned into a conspiracy to kill.
But the case against the daughter was “inherently weak”, said the judge.
Miss Deferia said outside court: “My acquittal brings nearly 18 months of utter misery to at least a partial conclusion.”