A SPURNED fiance told an undercover cop posing as a hitman he wanted a “murder kit” to kill his ex and cut up her body.

Park South man Matthias Brandt met the plain-clothes police officer in a Costa Coffee in Swindon’s McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, paying him a £300 deposit to hire a revolver, stun gun and knife.

The 43-year-old, of Horsham Road, had denied making threats to kill and encouraging another to commission the supply of a firearm and ammunition in connection with a murder attempt. But on the second day of the jury trial at Bristol Crown Court yesterday, Brandt changed his pleas – admitting one count of making threats and arranging to hire the gun and ammunition. He will be sentenced on November 6.

Opening the case, Sarah Jones QC said Brandt had hired half a dozen private investigators to trace his Prague-based ex Zofie Jarosova.

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Matthias Brandt Picture: WILTSHIRE POLICE

Miss Jones asked jurors: “Have you ever been dumped? Have you ever been conned or scammed? Have you ever been dumped and conned by the same person?

“If you have how did that make you feel? Did you want to confront the person who hurt you and tell them what you thought of them?”

She added: “This case is about a time when Mr Brandt had had relationship difficulties and how he set out to deal with those difficulties. His way of coping, say the Crown, was very different from the ordinary run of things.”

The prosecutor said Brandt claimed he had met the woman in the Czech Republic at the end of 2018, with the couple enjoying a whirlwind romance that started in the capital’s Hotel Paris. He had met her mother and proposed to Zofie.

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Bristol Crown Court

But the relationship had turned sour. She had returned to her home country with the expensive engagement ring, which in varying accounts he said belonged to either his mother or cost him £1,500.

A friend of Zofie’s was said to have contacted Brandt and told him his fiancée had been arrested in the USA and needed him to pay her $500 bail. When he did, he was told it was not enough and they needed more cash. He grew suspicious and reported the incident to Action Fraud in early February.

Brandt obsessed over tracing Zofie, spending thousands of pounds on around half a dozen private investigators with whom he kept in close contact. One of the private eyes contacted Zofie, posing as a businessman, and attempted to set up a honeytrap meeting with her in Prague – but she never showed.

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Costa Coffee Picture: PA WIRE

The Park South man bought a £10 burner phone from Asda and, on the afternoon of March 22, met a man he knew only as Ryan in Costa Coffee.

The Swindon man believed Ryan to be an underworld hitman. In fact, he was an undercover policeman who was filming the encounter on a hidden camera.

Brandt told Ryan he planned to ambush his ex, who he said worked an escort, kill her and then dismember her body. Zofie was “no angel”, he claimed. He agreed to pay as down payment £300 – half of the amount it would cost to hire the weapons.

The hitman checked Brandt definitely wanted to go ahead with the hire, as the weapons would need to be trafficked from the continent. “Keep the cash,” Brandt is said to have replied. “You can trust me. I’m not changing my mind.”

Brandt was interviewed by police six times. Initially, he told detectives he had paid to trace Zofie in an effort to confront her in person about the stolen ring.

Informed that the arms dealer he had met was in fact an undercover police officer, Brandt claimed he was training to become a private investigator himself and the meeting was part of a plan to catch the dangerous gangster.

Miss Jones dismissed that explanation, telling jurors Brandt had previous convictions for possession of a stun gun, harassing ex-partners and breaching restraining orders. Taken into custody for this latest offence, he had also threatened a mental health nurse – drawing his finger across his throat.

Brandt had become obsessed about finding his former partner, Miss Jones said: “This was about finding her without her realising he was looking for her and then taking revenge.”