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Ex-GP hired hitman on dark web to kill financial adviser after losing £300k, court hears

4:30 pm, 19th July 2018

David Crichton, from Bournemouth, is accused of attempting to solicit the murder of Andrew Bolden, a pension and wealth investment adviser, on 26 February last year.

Winchester Crown Court was told that Crichton had used the dark web to access the website of the “Chechen mob”, where he selected an order to “kill the bastard” and agreed a price of £3,800 to be paid in bitcoin.

The 64-year-old is also facing three charges of sending a malicious communication – two texts and one phone call – with the aim of making Mr Bolden fear he would kill himself.

Crichton denies all four charges.

Prosecutor Simon Jones said officers from the National Crime Agency had been monitoring the dark web page Crime Bay By Chechen Mob when they found the order to kill Mr Bolden.

Crichton had used a special browser on his computer and created an account on the website, Mr Jones added.

Other options were “beat the s*** out of (the victim)”, “set his car on fire”, and “set his house on fire”.

Mr Jones said: “The defendant’s intention could not be clearer.

“The steps he took were very clearly an attempt to solicit, ask for, request, seek a murder.”

Crichton had a £1.8m pension when he met Mr Bolden, who worked for London-based private bank Brown Shipley, in September 2011.

Mr Bolden was paid to give investment advice to the GP, with an agreement for further advice in future.

The prosecutor said: “Dr Crichton delayed some aspects of his advice, he missed certain deadlines and incurred a tax penalty.”

Crichton complained to the financial regulator but Mr Bolden’s advice was found to have been correct.

Mr Jones said Crichton sent his financial adviser hundreds of emails and on 4 February last year he sent a text saying: “I am contacting you out of desperation, I believe you are the only person who can help save my life.”

Crichton is alleged to have then called Mr Bolden to say his “life is at risk”.

He is alleged to have sent another text on 4 March, saying: “I remain desperate to speak to you and since you know my life is at risk I can’t believe you are obstructing me in this.”

The court heard that Crichton told police he had been “drunk and feeling suicidal” when we went on the website.

He had become obsessed with hitmen but had “thought it was a game and it wasn’t real”.

The trial continues.