Indian-origin daughter jailed for 3 years over poison plot
An Indian-origin graphic designer acquitted by a UK court of trying to poison her mother in a Breaking Bad-inspired plot has been jailed for three years for acquiring deadly toxin abrin.
London: An Indian-origin graphic designer acquitted by a UK court of trying to poison her mother in a Breaking Bad-inspired plot has been jailed for three years for acquiring deadly toxin abrin.
Kuntal Patel had been acquitted of attempted murder last month but found guilty of acquiring a biological agent or toxin by Southwark Crown Court in London.
She has now become the first person to be sentenced under the Biological Weapons Act 1974.
The 37-year-old had denied trying to kill her magistrate mother, Meena Patel, by spiking her Diet Coke with abrin after she forbade her to marry her boyfriend, Niraj Kakad.
The court heard during the trial that she had been angry with her mother after she "forbade" her from marrying her US-based boyfriend.
The court heard that Meena Patel, who sits on the bench at Thames Magistrates' Court, was "hell-bent" on breaking up her daughter's relationship, and had locked her daughter in their home, bullying her in a bid to get her to stop seeing Kakad.
They got engaged in November 2012 but they broke up due to the pressure.
The details of how Kuntan bought the poison via a US site on the "dark web" for 950 pounds emerged during the trial.
She had talked about needing a "tasteless" and deadly toxin to get her mother "out of the way" but said the comments were part of a fantasy world where she imagined herself as Walter White -- a character in the US series Breaking Bad.
In court she said she meant to kill herself with the poison which was allegedly hidden in a red wax candle and delivered to London but Kuntan, a Barclays Bank employee, said she "panicked" when she picked the package up and threw it away.
During sentencing, Justice Singh said he believed she had been forced to endure "a prolonged period of severe stress" in the two years leading up to the offences, which took place last December and January.
He said Kuntan had been torn between her devotion to her mother and family and her desire to find happiness with her fiancee.
"Ultimately you could see no way out and became increasingly depressed and isolated, contemplating killing your mother and yourself," he concluded.
Kuntal had pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to acquire a biological agent or toxin last December.