LEANNE Loughrey had been stewing for years about her marriage breakdown when she approached an old high school friend with a sinister proposal.
“Would you do a job for me? I'd pay ya,” Loughrey said in April 2016. “Can you get rid of that bitch for me that's with me husband?”
Loughrey, 48, had parted ways with her husband Stephen in 2013 after 20 years of marriage. Within five months, he was in a relationship with another woman.
In conversations with her old friend, who lived on the same Hunterview street, Loughrey offered to hand over the address of her perceived rival and point out what she looked like.
“I want her killed,” Loughrey said, adding she could “get 10 grand together” to get it done. “I love him, I want him back.”
The prospective hitman didn't carry out the killing.
Months later, in September 2016, Loughrey was with her daughter Tiffany, then 21, when the pair spotted another acquaintance in the car park behind a Singleton seafood restaurant.
“We've got a favour to ask,” Tiffany said. “Do you know anyone or would you get rid of someone for 300 bucks and a packet of smokes?”
The second man wanted to see how serious they were, and took their cigarettes and $300 with no intention of carrying out the crime.
Two days after their initial meeting, the man went to the Loughreys' home and met the women in the front yard, where he was handed $300 and a pack of Winfield Red cigarettes. “I want proof, I want her phone and the ring off her finger,” Leanne said.
Instead, the man took their money and told the intended victim's son about the plot.
On Monday, the victim was listening from a remote location as the mother and daughter who plotted to kill her were sentenced at the NSW District Court in Sydney. In a victim impact statement, she said the plot had impacted her relationships, health and work.
Judge Dina Yehia said although the crimes were opportunistic and lacked sophistication, it was clear Loughrey intended for the killing to be carried out.
The court heard Loughrey and her daughter live with cognitive disabilities and Leanne, a disability pensioner, had no assets and no way to pay the $10,000.
Leanne was the instigator, while Tiffany – much younger and immature – was acting out of concern for her mother. Judge Yehia sentenced Leanne to a maximum of four years and six months in prison, with a minimum of two years, while Tiffany was sentenced to three years with a non-parole period of 50 days. The judge directed Tiffany's immediate release.
Sitting side by side in the court dock, the mother and daughter cried. Loughrey will be eligible for parole in July 2020.
While you’re with us, did you know The Herald is now offering breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up-to-date with all the local news - sign up here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.