Fourth person faces sentence over ‘degrading’ torture

A MAN is set to be sentenced over his role in a kidnapping and torture offence described as “humiliating and degrading” by the judge who has already put his co-offenders behind bars.

Appearing before Ipswich District Court on Monday, Matthew Chivers, 34, from North Booval, pleaded guilty to 13 charges including deprivation of liberty at North Ipswich on November 28, 2018; torture; two counts of assault causing bodily harm when armed/in company; three counts of serious assault; five counts of assault; unlawful possession of weapons; unlawful use of a stolen motor vehicle to facilitate an offence; evading police; unlawful possession of a weapon; and not having authority to possess ammunition.

Prosecutor Matt Le Grand represented the Crown in the hearing.

Chivers appeared from the Woodford jail via video-link because of COVID health measures.

Defence barrister Malcolm Harrison sought a report on Chivers before his sentence, saying the process could take nine weeks depending on access to the facility at Woodford.

Judge Dennis Lynch set the sentence date for November 13.

Three co-offenders in the kidnapping, torture and assault offences previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced in March this year.

They included Desmond Brian Ballangarry, 30, from Brassall; Jordan Taylor Battisson, 24, from Esk; and Emily Rebecca Hannah Smith, 25, from Pine Mountain.

Each pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing bodily harm when armed in company; five charges of assault; torture; deprivation of liberty; unlawful possession of a firearm; and unlawful use of a stolen motor vehicle.

The offences were committed when they took a man from the Monaco Motel in North Ipswich out to bushland near Fernvale, late at night on November 28, 2018.

They each received six-year jail terms for the torture. Battisson was sentenced to an additional 12 months with a total sentence to seven years. He will be eligible for parole in March 2021.

With time already spent in custody both Ballangarry and Smith will be eligible for parole by the end of this year.

At their sentence, Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said the torture offence was “violent, gratuitous, frightening, humiliating and degrading”.



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