A SPURNED fiancé who admitted buying a £600 a “murder kit” appeared to label the charge that has seen him jailed for seven years and eight months ludicrous.

Having previously admitted arranging with a hitman to buy the revolver, stun gun, ammunition and dismembering knife, Matthias Brandt this afternoon appeared to go back on the plea.

Appearing before Bristol Crown Court, Brandt said as he was sentenced: “I’m not guilty of count three [encouraging another to supply the weapons]. I didn’t plan to murder anyone.”

He then appeared to say: “In my opinion this is ludicrous.”

Sentencing Brandt, Judge Peter Blair ruled the 43-year-old to be dangerous, ordered he serve at least two thirds of his jail term and said he would be subject to an extended licence period of four years and four months. The total length of the sentence is 12 years.

The case against Brandt

The Park South man met a plain-clothes policeman he believed to be a hitman called Ryan in a Costa Coffee at Swindon’s McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, paying him a £300 deposit to hire a revolver, stun gun and knife.

Brandt had already hired half a dozen private eyes to track down his Prague-based ex Zofie Jarosova.

The pair met in the Czech Republic at the end of 2018. They enjoyed a whirlwind romance that started in the capital’s Hotel Paris. He had met her mother and proposed to Zofie.

After the relationship soured, Ms Jarosova was said to have returned to Prague with the pricey engagement ring.

A friend of Ms Jarosova 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 his ex, spending thousands of pounds on around half a dozen private investigators with whom he kept in close contact. One of the private eyes contacted Ms Jarosova, posing as a businessman, and attempted to set up a honeytrap meeting with her in Prague – but she never showed.

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, formerly of Horsham Road, admitted making threats to kill but initially denied encouraging another to commission the supply of a firearm and ammunition in connection with a murder attempt. But he changed his plea two days into the trial at Bristol Crown Court in September.

Ms Jarosova denies working as an escort.

Read Thursday's Adver for the full story.