Silvanus Satya Naidu was so upset when he wrongly thought his wife of 28 years was going to leave him and move to Sydney, that he tried to hire an assassin. The church and charity worker resorted to extreme measures instead of talking to his wife, who had no intention of leaving him.
But Naidu found himself in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on criminal charges when the hitman turned out to be a police covert operator.
Justice James Douglas sentenced Naidu to seven years’ jail, but because of the mitigating circumstances and 345 days Naidu had spent on remand set a parole eligibility date of Februay 19 next year.
“It is a clear case of a deliberate and premeditated action which was not in accordance with your normal personality and behaviour,” he said.
Earlier, Naidu, 51, of Rocklea, pleaded guilty to attempting to procure the murder of James Asher Kumar between October 28, 2010, and February 20 last year.
Prosecutor Caroline Marco told the court Naidu’s wife had begun communicating with Kumar, an old university friend who lived in Sydney, by Facebook and the telephone.
She said Naidu was upset by Kumar’s attention to his wife and it gradually built into an obsession.
Ms Marco detailed how Naidu originally approached a workmate to see if he could have Kumar beaten up.
The workmate reported the matter to police when it became clear Naidu was considering killing Kumar to get him out of his family’s life.
Ms Marco told the court how the workmate eventually put Naidu in contact with a “hitman” from New Zealand named “Moses”.
The hitman was in fact a police covert operator who met with Naidu to work out the details of the murder.
The court was played covert police tapes in which Naidu suggested killing Kumar by pushing him over a cliff in a car, shooting him or strangling him.
Ms Marco said the price for the job was $5000 but Naidu had handed over only $500 before he was arrested.
Jeff Hunter,SC, for Naidu, said his client was previously a model citizen who was heavily involved with his church, had qualifications in science, engineering and naturopathy, and had funded a secure house for disadvantaged people in Logan.
Mr Hunter said Naidu had also helped many prisoners while on remand.
He said it was clear case Naidu had acted completely out of character and had been under stress from work place bullying, two deaths in his family and losing property in the Brisbane floods.
Mr Hunter said the had reached a farcical level at times with Naidu even offering to pay for the hit with a cheque from the Flood Relief Fund,
“Instead of acting rationally and speaking with his wife my client did this. He is not a bad man but was in a bad place at the time,” Mr Hunter said.