Blow torch used in vigilante’s torture ordeal
A YOUNG man was held against his will and burnt with a blow torch during a disturbing case of torture.
The 24-year-old victim was accused of owing money, and being 'a kiddie fiddler' before being subjected to what was described in court as vigilante behaviour by his accuser, just two days before Christmas.
The allegation of inappropriately touching children was not substantiated.
Jed James Toole, 32, slammed his own behaviour as being "shameful and disgraceful," when he faced Ipswich District Court for sentence.
Toole pleaded guilty to nine charges, including three counts of assault causing bodily harm when armed/in company at Gatton on December 23, 2018; two counts of assault; two counts of deprivation of liberty; assault causing bodily harm when in company; and unlawful stalking.
Crown prosecutor James Bishop said Toole went to the house where the young male complainant was visiting with his girlfriend and told him to get into a car because he owed money to another person.
The victim was driven to Toole's house where he was taken to a bedroom and told to take off his clothes.
Mr Bishop said Toole took photos of the victim in his underwear, sending the images to the man he was alleged to have owed money to.
The court was told Toole hit the victim in the face several times and used duct tape to bind him.
Toole then took a butane torch and burned skin on the man's right leg and then on his shoulder.
In a later incident the frightened man was again made to take off his clothes and he was punched in the mouth, Toole again used the butane torch to burn his shoulder.
The man's hands were untied and he was punched in the mouth, with his lip split open.
Mr Bishop said Toole also put a dog collar around his neck attached to a leash, then used a pen to scrawl the words "kiddie fiddler" on his chest.
Toole began punching and then stomped on him.
The man later went to hospital where his burns, cuts and bruises were treated.
"It was prolonged, cruel and degrading. It was not spontaneous and he suffered a significant burn injury," Mr Bishop said.
"No doubt it was terrifying for him."
Toole's defence barrister said he had written a letter of apology.
He said Toole had a difficult childhood involving drug use, but was now motivated to rehabilitate himself for the sake of his two children.
He attended narcotics anonymous in jail then began supervising the help group for inmates.
With no medical information before the court, Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said he'd viewed the photos and it was likely the man received scarring from the burns.
He told Toole that he had deprived the man of his liberty and subjected him to degrading acts and gratuitous violence.
"Seemingly you had the view this person had engaged in unlawful sexual acts with children. You engaged in vigilante behaviour," he said.
"It must have been a terrifying ordeal for him.
"Your letter expresses considerable insight, describing your own conduct as humiliating.
"That it was shameful, unacceptable and disgraceful."
Toole was sentenced to a 2 ½ year jail term with lesser concurrent terms.
With the time already spent in jail, Toole was given immediate parole release.