Detective commended in Channel 4 'black widow' plot to murder case

Chief Constable Nick Dean presented the award to DC Louisa Abbott

Chief Constable Nick Dean presented the award to DC Louisa Abbott for her work which led to Victoria Breeden being jailed for nine-and-a-half years. - Credit: Cambs Police

A detective was commended for her “dedication, professionalism and tenacity” in securing the conviction of a Cambridgeshire woman jailed for soliciting to murder her ex-husband. 

Chief Constable Nick Dean presented the award to DC Louisa Abbott for her work which led to Victoria Breeden being jailed for nine-and-a-half years. 

The case was highlighted nationally on the 24 Hours in Police Custody television programme. 

Victoria Breeden in custody

Victoria Breeden in custody. - Credit: Channel 4

The commendation said that DC Abbott “skilfully built a compelling case when at first the evidence seemed weak.  

“Witness enquiries took her right across the country and up into Scotland.” 


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Mr Dean said Breeden, 39, and of Black Horse Drove, Littleport, was “difficult to manage, highly manipulative and with many alleged medical issues 

“But DC Abbott’s professionalism and patience were evident throughout”.

Victoria Breeden in questioning

Victoria Breeden in questioning. - Credit: Channel 4

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He said that approaching trial, DC Abbott worked tirelessly, including on days off, to complete disclosure schedules and engage with CPS and prosecution barristers.  

“At trial, she provided exemplary support to counsel and the resulting conviction meant the intended victim could sleep easier and feel safer,” the commendation noted.  

He said DC Abbott received widespread praise for how she represented the force during an extremely challenging investigation “which would not normally be taken on by a local CID team.  

“She is commended for her dedication, professionalism, tenacity and detective ability”. 

The case began when a man handed Cambridgeshire police a secretly recorded conversation that appeared to show his girlfriend offering to pay someone to commit murder. 

It ended when Breeden was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison at Chelmsford Crown Court last July after being found guilty of three counts of soliciting to murder Rob Parkes. 

Victoria’s dating profile

Victoria’s dating profile. - Credit: Channel 4

The court had been told that Breeden’s most current former partner approached officers with a 24-minute recording. 

He feared Breeden was having an affair and hid his phone in a cupboard under the stairs of her home to see what she was up to. 

When he retrieved it the next day he listened to the recording of Breeden and another man talking about how easy it would be to ‘make someone disappear’. 

The recording heard talk of the different ways her ex-husband, Rob Parkes, could be murdered or seriously injured. 

24 Hours in Police Custody: Black Widow was shown over consecutive nights on Channel 4. 

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