Stratford woman cleared of Breaking Bad murder plot is jailed for buying poison
- Credit: Archant
A love-struck woman cleared of trying to kill her mum by spiking her diet coke has been jailed for three years for buying a deadly toxin.
Kuntal Patel, 36, paid £950 for the abrin over the internet as part of the alleged Breaking Bad style plot.
After she arranged for the poison to be shipped to a friend’s address hidden in a candle, the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations alerted the Metropolitan Police.
Officers searched the graphic designer’s home in Park Road, Stratford, in January before arresting Patel on suspicion of an offence under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.
Detectives from SO15 Counter Terrorism Command were able to uncover and decrypt web-based conversations between Patel and the abrin supplier in the US.
Patel, who was jailed at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, is the first to be sentenced under the Biological Weapons Act 1974.
A two-week trial, held last month, heard that she believed her mum Meena, 60, was responsible for the break-up of her engagement.
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It was alleged the graphic designer dreamed up her murder plot after becoming “addicted” to American TV series Breaking Bad and watching an episode in which drug lord Walter White kills an enemy with ricin-laced tea.
Patel admitted buying abrin, but said she ‘panicked’ when she picked the package up and threw it away, denying using it to poison her mum by putting it in her diet coke.
She was found guilty of one count of acquiring a biological agent but was found not guilty of attempted murder.
Temporary Commander Duncan Ball, of the Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Our thorough and complex investigation identified that Kuntal Patel had purchased an extremely deadly toxin via the dark web.
“I would like to pass on my personal thanks to US law enforcement and other international agencies for their cooperation and assistance during this investigation.”