Kidnapping verdict in


The jury has returned its verdict in the kidnapping trial of Glenorchy’s Pita Wilson and Bluff’s Mark Taylor.

The pair were accused of kidnapping three men and assaulting one of the trio in Queenstown in late 2014.

Wilson was found guilty of kidnapping and assault.

In a verdict in which the jury could reach unanimous agreement on only five of the nine charges, Taylor was also found guilty of assault but cleared of kidnapping charges.

The jury of six men and six women reached its verdict at noon today at the Invercargill District Court after 24 hours’ deliberation.

It followed seven days of evidence in a trial that began on May 24 and involved seven people taking the witness stand.

Wilson, 40, was found guilty of kidnapping Joseph Armstrong, Andrew Lee and Casey Johnston at a Lakeview cabin in the resort between November 25 and 26 of 2014. The verdicts were by an 11-1 majority.

Wilson was also found guilty of injuring Armstrong with intent to injure, but not guilty of supplying class A-controlled methamphetamine. Both were unanimous verdicts.

Taylor, 19, was found not guilty on the three kidnapping charges, also unanimously, but found guilty by a majority on the charge of injuring Armstrong with intent to injure.

Judge Brian Callaghan convicted Wilson and Taylor and remanded them for sentencing on June 20.

Otago Daily Times