Killing for Insurance Mk.II

Article published on 16th June 2008

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Another day another plot to kill for life insurance money.

I thought this sort of thing only happened in Agatha Christie novels but what with Fadri Nasri having his wife killed recently to claim on her life assurance policy and this new case I'm starting to lose hope somewhat.

This time we have a housewife, Zoe Kenealy, who because she felt "smothered" by her husband took out a £4,500 home improvement loan from Welcome Financial Services in order to hire a professional killer to murder her husband so she could claim on his life insurance policy.

She ran into trouble initially because failing Northern Rock turned down her first loan application for £10,000. Apparently she'd got fed up with her husband being "morose and withdrawn" after his mother died and having become infatuated with her neighbour, Lee Waite, started making overtures to arranged her husband's death.

She gave her Mr. Waite a £3,000 down payment to arrange killers to murder her husband, offering a total of £10,000 once the job was done. Mr. Waite kept the money, although he insisted he never had any intention of actually carrying out the killing.

Mrs. Kenealey's family found out and took the difficult step of reporting her to the police, after which point the evidence was gathered and her husband was taken to a "safe house". Mr. Waite testified against her during the trial, receiving a caution himself for pocketing the money but otherwise walking free.

The couple had been going through financial troubles over the period in question and this was regarded by the courts as being an exacerbating factor in Mrs. Kenealey's decision to have her husband killed so that she could claim on his £33,000 life assurance policy.

It all came out when she starting insisting her brother give her the rest of the money to pay for hired killers.

Mr. Kenealy, sat at the Old Bailey with his head in his hands as Judge Gregory Stone passed sentence. Mr. Kenealy said that he had forgiven his wife and would stand by her, but still the judge said that he had to consider the public interest as well.

It seems that there were absolutely no winners in this sorry series of events, but at least no-one was killed.

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