A retired location manager for The Bill has been found guilty of seeking to have his partner murdered.

David Harris, 68, of East Street, Amberley, approached three different men, in Kingston, Wimbledon and Balham to ask them to carry out the killing and to frame it as an accident or a mugging gone wrong.

One of the men he met in Balham, the ‘partner’ of the man he first met in Wimbledon, was really an undercover police officer.

He was yesterday (May 18) found guilty of three counts of soliciting, encouraging, persuading or endeavouring to persuade or propose to others to murder (on March 17 2016, August 1 2016 and November 11 2016).

Harris hoped to inherit the £800,000 Sussex house owned by his partner, Hazel Allinson, and pay off the debts he had accumulated from showering Lithuanian former sex worker Ugne Cekaviciute, 28, with gifts.

In court he claimed he was writing a novel about a middle-aged lawyer in love with a younger girl but married to a rich, unfaithful older woman.

Andrew Hadik of the CPS said: "The idea that David Harris was only researching a murder mystery novel was itself a piece of fiction. He was serious about having his partner of nearly 30 years killed so he could inherit her house in Amberley, Sussex, and start a new life with his younger lover.

"The prosecution case was that he offered these men very large amounts of money to kill her, and as proof of his intent provided a photograph and details of where she would be. He used a 'burner' disposable phone to try to hide his conversations.

"Harris believed his first contact would carry out the murder, and when they did not, he expressed disappointment that she was still alive and approached someone else.

"These verdicts are a result of a strong prosecution case involving close co-operation with police during the investigation."