Woman to learn conspiracy term

A WOMAN who worked as an escort in Coffs Harbour and was involved in a plot to murder a farmer fought back tears in a Sydney court this week, saying she was horrified by her actions in finding someone to carry out the hit.

Ganene Gaye Coulter, 42, who now lives at Tyndale near Grafton, has pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to conspiring to murder Tamworth grazier Jeffrey Ryan in October, 2009.

During Coulter’s sentencing hearing, the court heard a payment of at least $15,000 was arranged to hire a hit man to murder Mr Ryan, who was gunned down on his Duri property.

Alleged hit man Kenneth Harold Brooks, 45, formerly of Cessnock, stands charged with the murder.

Coulter admitted she served as the link to the alleged murderer.

She was arrested on her Tyndale property in February last year after a four-month investigation by taskforce detectives.

Appearing for sentence on Wednesday, she told the court she knew the man she spoke to about the plan to have Mr Ryan killed was “capable of anything”.

“I knew he was capable of killing someone or capable of hurting someone,” Coulter said.

Members of Mr Ryan’s family, including his son Ben and mother Marie, attended the hearing as his sister, Jenny Ryan, read an emotional victim impact statement.

“He was a man filled with love and compassion, who encouraged hope in others,” she said.

“We will never understand how this could have happened but it has only made our family stronger and more determined.”

Under questioning from her barrister, Mitchell Paish, Coulter said she was “horrified” by her role in Mr Ryan’s murder.

“I feel terrible, shattered ... like a piece of s***,” she said.”

When asked by Mr Paish why she had become involved in contacting a man on another person’s behalf she said: “I still can’t answer that myself.”

The court heard Ms Coulter had struggled with drug abuse, particularly speed and marijuana.

Justice Megan Latham adjourned the matter. Coulter is expected to learn her fate next week.

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