News

Men to face penalty for kidnap and horrific abuse of victim

TWO men who kidnapped and tortured another man over an alleged drug debt will be sentenced today.

The pair - Stephen Wood, 35, and Jack Reihana, 43 - appeared in Ipswich District Court on Friday.

They pleaded guilty to a string of offences relating to the incident which took place on January 12, last year.

Crown prosecutor Dzenita Balic told the court the men had tortured their victim for hours by "branding" him with red-hot wires and smashing his hand with a hammer.

Ms Balic said Wood had allegedly been owed money by the victim and so drove to the man's Short St home, accompanied by Reihana, to "teach him a lesson".

When they arrived, Wood and Reihana abducted the 24-year-old man and took him to a property in Purga, where the ordeal continued.

"Once they reached the Purga address, the victim had already been punched a number of times and was bleeding and having difficulties moving his arms," Ms Balic said.

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The man was grabbed by the hair and had his head smashed into a veranda post.

He was then beaten with a barbecue hot plate.

After that, his hand was bound in cling wrap and struck with a sledge hammer.

The blow fractured his fingers and bent them out of shape.

Reihana then heated a wire and burned the left cheek of the victim, while laughing.

As he administered the form of torture, Reihana was heard to say: "the cows are due for a new brand".

To try and extort some money from his captive, Wood phoned the victim's mother and said "he would send her son to her in pieces if she didn't pay his debt".

The mother, fearful for her son's life, transferred the money.

Once the money was paid, the victim was taken to hospital.

He suffered serious facial injuries and burns to his hands and other parts of his body.

Ms Balic said both the victim and his mother still carried psychological scars from the ordeal.

Defence barrister Geoff Seaholme, who defended Wood, said his client's actions during the time of the offence were "out of character".

Mr Seaholme said Wood, a former Ipswich council worker, was a father of three.

He had also been a member of the Rural Fire Brigade in Peak Crossing.

He said his client had been using amphetamine-type stimulant drugs and had not slept in four days at the time of the incident.

He said Wood was remorseful of his behaviour.

Both men will be sentenced today in Brisbane District Court.

A Purga woman, Yvonne Metzger, 49, is also alleged to have been involved in the incident and is expected to appear in Ipswich District Court today.

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Topics:  brisbane district court, ipswich district court, jack reihana, kidnap, stephen wood, torture



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