Mother recounts kidnapping phone call at trial

  • 11/11/2016
The mother choked back tears as she recounted the phone call (file)
The mother choked back tears as she recounted the phone call (file)

A mother has told of the phone call informing her son would be released in Rotorua's kidnapping trial.

Headhunters gang members are accused of kidnapping two men in February last year after one of them, a wealthy businessman, got involved with a gang member's girlfriend. She ended up in hospital, injured by a broken sex toy on his private launch.

The men are Jordan Alexander Christian, 21, David Peter Clark, 36, Stephen William Daly, 33, Benjamin Paul Dwyer, 28, Brent Anthony Gunning, 37, Liam John Kane, 24, Matthew John McDonnell, 45, Stacy Walton Dennis Paora, 29 and Sam Wiremu Rolleston 23.

They also face firearms and organised criminal group charges.

In the Rotorua  High Court on Friday the mother of the younger alleged victim - a 20-year-old who did maintenance at the businessman's properties - told the jury that when she learned he had been taken she sent him a text message.

She got a call in reply from a person claiming to be the businessman, but she said it didn't sound like him.

Choking back tears in court, she said she was told her son was alright and he'd be home that night before the call was terminated.

"I was scared for my boy, I couldn't understand why he'd been kidnapped and why someone would be using his phone to call me."

She later saw her son but he was despondent, upset and bruised, she said.

Questioned by McDonnell's lawyer, Bruce Hesketh, she agreed she considered the businessman a bad influence on her son because of his drug use.

Another witness on Friday told of finding someone crouching behind shelving in his workshop.

"He said someone was after him, wanted to kill him and he needed to be taken to the police station, he pulled out a couple of grand in notes."

He pointed the man to a nearby community police base but he stumbled off in the wrong direction.

Another witness told how he'd been flagged down and offered $50 to take the man to the police station.

The trial, at the end of its second week, is continuing.