Scales of Justice
A statue of the scales of justice stands above the Old Bailey on February 16, 2015 in London, England. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A pensioner tried to kill off his wealthy partner so he could be with his younger lover, a court has heard.

David Harris, 68, is accused of hiring three different hitmen to murder Hazel Allinson so he could acquire the £800,000 ($1.04m) home they shared together in West Sussex, alongside other assets.

He is said to have offered the men as much as £250,000 to carry out the hit, going as far as telling them where Allinson goes to church.

But the men Harris tried to hire all betrayed him with the first tipping off Allinson, the second informing police and the third being an undercover officer who taped their conversations.

At a three-week trial at the Old Bailey, the jury heard that Harris planned the attempted murder to be with 28-year-old brothel worker Ugne Cekaviciute from Lithuania.

"Hazel Allinson had the money ... he didn't," said William Boyce QC, who was prosecuting Harris, reported The Times.

"He wanted both the younger woman and the older woman's money.

"If he left her he thought he wouldn't get the money, and therefore he tried to arrange to have her murdered so he could have her money and the younger woman once she was dead."

The court also heard that Harris had been forced to borrow thousands of pounds from neighbours and used up the limits on credit cards to pay for the love affair with Cekaviciute.

Boyce said: "He spent money on her, increasing amounts of money it would seem; gifts, flowers, movies, dinners, books for her studies, underwear and of course hotels. He would also give her cash.

"On his own account it seems he fell in love with her."

David Harris's 28-year-old lover Ugne Cekaviciute from Lithuania.

Harris was arrested in November 2016, shortly after his meeting with the undercover officer in Balham, London.

During that meeting, Harris is alleged to have asked the officer to make the death look like a mugging or a carjacking and said: "I want the next five years with a girlfriend, living by the sea, OK? That's what I want."

Harris, who has previously worked on episodes of The Bill, denied the three charges of soliciting the murder of Allinson, claiming that the men were contacted as research for a crime novel.

The trial continues.