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GP explains search for hitman to kill adviser

GP explains search for hitman to kill adviser

A doctor accused of trying to use a hitman-for-hire website to murder his financial adviser today (23 July) claimed he had no intention of killing him - and only entered his details as a mental exercise.

Dr David Crichton said his 'life collapsed' after he lost around £300,000 from his £1.8m pension pot following dealings with pensions and personal wealth adviser Andrew Bolden.

The retired 64-year-old family GP told a court today (23 July) he 'fell to pieces' and was diagnosed with depression and was also considered a 'high risk for suicide'.

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Winchester Crown Court has heard Mr Crichton didn't pay the $5,000 (£3,814) fee for the 'hit' and he said had he indeed wanted to pay 'it would have been extremely easy' as he is 'very wealthy'.

Mr Crichton also told the court he has 'obsessive tendencies' and became obsessed with the internet - spending around 15 hours a day browsing up to 600 websites.

Giving evidence, he said when he downloaded the dark web for the first time he even saw a page 'arranging a hit on US president Donald Trump'.

The court has heard Mr Crichton began a 'campaign' of harassment against Mr Bolden after believing he had received what he considered to be bad financial advice - however, investigations revealed the adviser from Brown Shipley had acted correctly.

He allegedly started threatening to kill himself if the adviser did not talk to him and, when this failed, Mr Crichton turned to the dark web, entering Mr Bolden's details on a Chechen mafia site in a bid to find a hitman to kill him.

Mr Crichton said he visited the site and entered the details as a 'guinea pig' to 'clear his head'.

The father-of-three, from Bournemouth, Dorset, said: "I was looking as a medical professional, as a guinea pig for a test to see if this would clear my head."

He said he became aware about the dark web after reading reports online about it.

Mr Crichton also said he read about reports of 'scams' on vulnerable people and was interested to see them himself as a medical professional.

The retired doctor said a large part of his career was research and he had recently read about a form of therapy where recipients are encouraged to write down or type out negative thoughts before throwing them away or deleting them, thereby improving wellbeing.

Mr Crichton claimed he 'knew the hitman site was a scam' and entered Mr Bowden's name to 'throw away' his negative thoughts.

He said: "I do accept that I put his details in the website because it was this idea of 'throwing away a thought'.

"I'm a research doctor and I thought it would be good to research - and actually, it made me feel better. I wanted to know if this was a good avenue to pursue to help people with suicidal thoughts.

"First of all I thought this was a scam and secondly I didn't pay any money, I was sure there was no risk to Andrew, I knew he was safe. I didn't think I had solicited his murder, it's totally ludicrous really and unbelievable."