A Kenyan woman has avoided a jail sentence for hiring an assassin to shoot her husband and dump his body in a ditch - after he agreed to patch things up and give her another chance.

John Muthee told chief magistrate Kiarie Waweru Kiarie in Nairobi that he forgave his wife Faith Wairimu Maina and asked for the charges to be dropped.

She admitted hiring a man to kill her husband and had offered an extra payment for the recovery of her husband's bloodied clothes, bank card and pin numbers, reported Citizen News TV.

But the hitman was an undercover detective and the would-be plotter was caught in a police sting after she gave him a deposit of 40,000 shillings (£290) and promised to pay him a further 160,000 shillings once the job was done.

Maina took her husband to a bank and called the "hitman" to alert him that his prey was ready. After she left him, undercover police officers swooped and took Muthee away, told him what was going on, took his jacket, smeared it with blood and presented it to his wife.

She was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Detectives said it was Maina's second, if not third, attempt to have her husband killed. She had previously made contact with a hitman who ran off with her deposit money.

In court, it emerged that the couple argued regularly and that Muthee had been unfaithful.

According to the Daily Nation, he told the court: "I want to forgive her for the sake of our children and family. She is my wife and the mother of my children."

Maina's lawyer said the couple had decided to give their marriage another go.

"The court allows for such negotiations in litigation. They have buried the hatchet.''