Updated: Monday, 30th March 2020 @ 9:06pm

Architect upped bounty for wife's murder after Philpott's conviction, Bolton court hears

Architect upped bounty for wife's murder after Philpott's conviction, Bolton court hears

| By Lauren Brown

A Bolton architect who orchestrated a contract to have his wife and family murdered increased the pay-out the day Mick Philpott was convicted of killing six of his children, a court heard.

Andrew McGarry, 39, initially offered £10,000 to have someone harm his wife but increased it £50,000 when Philpott, 58, was found guilty of manslaughter after setting fire to his home, it was claimed.

McGarry, from Horwich, near Bolton, was said to be in a ‘very agitated state’ as Philpott’s verdict came in and wanted his ex-wife Heather, 28, killed ‘as soon as possible’.

He hatched the plan behind bars whilst serving a jail term for ramming a car in his matrimonial home then setting it on fire and approached three inmates with his proposal, it was said.

He came up with a ‘price-list’ for varying degrees of attacks which could be carried out on his former wife and their next-door neighbour  Andrea Leighton and make it look like a burglary, it was claimed.

They included £100 for causing damage to the windows at both addressees, £500 for setting fire to number the matrimonial home, and even £8,000 for killing Heather, a jury was told.

There was a further £1,400 promised if Andrea was seriously injured or killed in the fire, it was alleged.

Police were called in after one of the inmates handed over details of McGarry's plans to guards at Forest Bank Jail in Salford.

At Bolton Crown Court, inmate Colin Brady told a jury: “Most of the conversations in the prison was all about the case against the Philpott.

 “The entire jail was all talking about it because in prison terms it is one of the most sickening crimes you can think of, killing your children or anyone else's children. That was the main story of the day.

 “He [McGarry] wanted his wife killed and as soon as possible. The price was suggested to be £50k. I didn't write anything down I committed everything to memory.

“Why would we be trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes? What would we have gained from it? Absolutely nothing.”

The court heard McGarry was serving a ‘very long prison sentence’ after ploughing his Vauxhall Zafira into his £120,000 end-terraced house after the breakdown of his marriage.

Shortly after he was condemned he approached inmate James Plaice about trashing the family home and setting it on fire, it was alleged.

But Plaice told Brady about the plot and handed him a set of plans McGarry had given him detailing the layout of the house. 

Brady said:  "He [McGarry] thought I was the man to do the job he wanted to do. The only thing he didn't know was the people I was connected to was the police.

"I didn't accept any of it. I went straight to the police. No innocent conversation took place between he and I. My primary objection was to gain as much information from him to pass on to the police."'

The court heard that Brady got in touch with Heather McGarry via a card sent from prison which was later handed to police. He denied it was an attempt by him to get money from Mrs McGarry.

''I believed that Mrs McGarry should be fully informed of everything. I didn't have full confidence in my mind that the police disclosed everything to her,” Brady added.

“Unfortunately with this case I have undergone a tremendous amount of threats from prisoners. I do know most of what's going on, it's how you survive, you have to survive.”

McGarry, who ran his own design and architect practise, denies two charges of soliciting murder and three charges of encouraging or assisting the commission of criminal offences.

Story via Cavendish Press.

Main image courtesy of Derek Bruff, inset courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks.