A Gold Coast woman found guilty for a second time of plotting to hire a hit man to kill her husband more than a decade ago has been jailed for six years.
- Theresa Dalton was found guilty of the same crime in 2019 and was sentenced to six years in jail
- A second jury found her guilty after just two days of deliberations
- She will be eligible for parole in October 2022
At the start of her retrial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Theresa Dalton, 69, had pleaded not guilty to attempting to procure the murder of Malcolm Stewart in 2010.
The court heard the pair were going through a bitter divorce when she gave her then-boyfriend Anthony Werner $20,000 to pay another man he knew to murder Mr Stewart.
It heard she promised to pay another $20,000 once Mr Stewart was dead, but the hit was never carried out and the man pocketed the money instead.
Prosecutors told the jury that Dalton wanted her husband of more than two decades killed because she did not want to split their shared property and assets, believed to be worth more than $1.7 million.
In 2019, Dalton was found guilty and was sentenced to six years in jail.
Last year her conviction was set aside on appeal, with her lawyers successfully arguing the judge had misdirected the jury.
After just over two days of deliberating, a second jury found Dalton guilty on Monday.
As the jury’s verdict was read out, Dalton cried hysterically and yelled: “You’re wrong.”
“I’m not guilty, I didn’t do anything,” she said.
“You’ve made a mistake … you have made an error in this.
“I can’t see how you can do this — I never did anything wrong — I had no part of what he did, how could you do this?”
Before learning her sentence, Dalton continued to protest her innocence, telling the judge: “I’m not a criminal” and pleading with him to consider a suspended sentence.
“I haven’t committed this crime I am accused of doing … I swear I have not done this,” she said.
“I’ve never broken a law in my life.
“Please consider that I have a daughter and two grandchildren … I can walk around in chains at home if you want.”
Justice John Bond rejected Dalton’s submissions, saying they were “inconsistent” with the jury’s verdict and that a suspended sentence would be “inappropriate”.
He said the offending was “treacherous and motivated by self-interest” and had a “devastating effect” on Mr Stewart.
“He has suffered great financial, physical and emotional harm,” he said.
Dalton has already spent more than 300 days in pre-sentence custody and will be eligible for parole in October next year.