Penelope Tomkins was an attractive 49-year-old receptionist with an electronics company in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. And nobody got a better reception than Adrian Littlebury, a 54-year-old computer programmer with the same firm.

An affair developed, and in the late spring of 1998 Littlebury enrolled in clay-pigeon shooting classes. His fellow-pupils were not to know that clay pigeons were not the target he had in mind. He had set his sights on his lover’s husband David Tomkins, a 51-year-old surveyor.

On October 24th, 1998, Littlebury bought a shotgun. Three days later, on OCTOBER 27th, he left his office early to await David Tomkins’s return from work to his home in the Buckinghamshire village of Lacey Green.

Two shots rang out as Mr. Tomkins got out of his car. Minutes later his wife arrived to find him dying in the road.

Two hours later Littlebury went to the police, saying he thought he had shot someone accidentally. But when the victim’s widow was questioned she admitted fantasising with her lover about how to obtain her freedom from her husband.

Saying that she had briefed Littlebury on Mr. Tomkins’s movements, she said she was confessing because her conscience troubled her so much that she could hardly breathe.

On July 14th, 1999, they stood side by side in the dock at Reading Crown Court, Littlebury admitting David Tomkins’s murder, Mrs. Tomkins admitting soliciting the killing. Littlebury was jailed for life, Mrs. Tomkins for three and a half years.