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Former Croydon College student tried to murder mother in poison plot inspired by Breaking Bad, court told


THE woman accused of trying to murder her mother in a plot inspired by US TV drama Breaking Bad is a former Croydon College student. 

Kuntal Patel, 37, is accused of trying to kill her "controlling and selfish" mother Meena by putting abrin - a poison similar to ricin - in a bottle of Diet Coke after she "forbade" her from marrying her boyfriend.

Patel has pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to acquire a biological agent or toxin last December.

The graphic designer denies attempted murder and is standing trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Prosecutors say she bought the poison, said to be far more potent than ricin, from a site on the 'dark web', where users can remain anonymous.

It arrived in a wax candle after she paid for it using the virtual currency bitcoins, jurors heard.

It is alleged that she put the poison in the bottle and watched as her mother, a magistrate at Thames Magistrates' Court, drank it at her home in Stratford, east London.

Nothing happened because the poison was 1,000 times less toxic if swallowed rather than inhaled or injected, the court heard.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said the plot was "inspired", in part, by Breaking Bad.

He said the Patels would have appeared a "highly respectable and happy family" to the outside world but they were "embroiled in bullying and abuse".

The evidence, he said, showed that Meena Patel was "not a nice woman at all".

"She would regularly use foul and abusive language, including highly racist language. She would, on occasion, be violent," said Mr Polnay.

Meena Patel was said to be "highly manipulative and controlling" and sought to control her daughter's life, the court heard.

"Worst of all, she forbade Kuntal from marrying the man she loved - Niraj Kaked," said Mr Polnay.

"Meena Patel was all of those things - manipulative, controlling and selfish. But she did not deserve to die."

It is claimed that, when the marriage was blocked, Kuntal set out in a "calculated and pre-meditated fashion to murder her mother".

The court heard that Meena locked her daughter in her home, beat her and demanded she stop seeing her boyfriend, who lives in the US.

Jurors were told that Kuntal bought the poison over the internet from American Jesse Korff, but the website was under surveillance by the FBI after an advert posted on it offered Breaking Bad-style ricin poison.

The series tells the story of Walter White, a chemistry teacher who turns to cooking crystal meth after being diagnosed with cancer.

In a message Kuntal wrote: "I've been watching too much Breaking Bad."

When her mother survived she confessed the murder plot to Mr Korff, it is alleged.

"Something has definitely gone wrong somewhere as it is now early Saturday morning and still everything is normal," she wrote.

"Yes target drank all of it. I made sure I watched her drink it all."

When Kuntal was arrested in January she told police she bought the poison to kill herself.

Police found she had searched 'how to murder using poison', 'how to create botulism' and 'how to murder someone without getting caught', the court heard.

The trial continues. 

Former Croydon College student tried to murder mother in poison plot inspired  by Breaking Bad, court told

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