Girl ‘tried to hire killer’

2009-09-29 00:00

A MATRIC pupil at St Anne’s Diocesan College in Hilton was arrested in Johannesburg on her 18th birthday for allegedly trying to pay a hitman to kill her ex-boyfriend’s mother.

She was apparently convinced that the 45-year-old mother was responsible for wrecking her relationship with the 24-year-old student teacher in April. The man and his family had previously applied for a protection order against her.

Brittany Leigh Mitchell was taken into custody at Sandton City mall in Johannesburg last Wednesday and is now due to stand trial in Randfontein on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

According to a reliable source, Superintendent Gert Kruger of the Randfontein criminal investigation unit arrested Mitchell after she allegedly handed him R2 000 for the contract killing, as well as a photograph of the 45-year-old woman. She evidently did not know Kruger was a member of the police.

The girl allegedly sent an SMS to a Randfontein man asking him to put her in touch with a contract killer.

According to a police source, the police received information about the alleged murder plans from an informant just a few days before the meeting at Sandton City. Kruger then pretended to be a link to the contract killer and established cellphone contact with Mitchell.

The girl had travelled to Johannesburg from KwaZulu-Natal with members of her family shortly before her arrest. Her mother and grandmother were shopping in the centre when she was arrested and were apparently very shocked.

After spending the rest of her birthday and two further nights in jail, she appeared briefly in the Randfontein Magistrate’s Court on Friday. She was released on bail of R2 000 on the same day, as she suffers from depression and displayed suicidal tendencies. She was released to the custody of her father and placed under house arrest.

Mitchell was initially to have appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday to oppose an application for a protection order against her by her ex-boyfriend and his family, but this was abandoned after her arrest.

Mitchell met the 24-year-old man on the social network Facebook in August last year.

When approached for comment by The Witness, St Anne’s headmaster David Wilkinson said, “There is a girl called Brittany Mitchell who is in matric at St Anne’s. This is the first time that I have heard of this matter.”

Mitchell will appear in court again on December 1.

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