Accused man says he was writing thriller, not hiring killer

His trial continued Monday at London’s Central Criminal Court. Harris denies three counts of soliciting murder.

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LONDON — A British retiree accused of trying to hire hit men to kill his partner has claimed he was merely conducting research for a thriller.

Harris, 68, told police he became “hooked” on thrillers after being given an e-reader for Christmas and decided to try to write one himself.

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Prosecutors say he offered three men large sums of money to kill Allison. David Harris is charged with soliciting the murder of his partner Hazel Allison, a former scriptwriter for a police TV drama.

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The first man declined to carry out the hit and the second went to police. The third “killer,” whom Harris met in a supermarket parking lot, was an undercover police officer.