A Queenstown woman accused of kidnapping a “drug dealer” had no control over him being bundled into her car, her lawyer says.
Rachel Maree Faul, 22, faces two charges relating to the violent kidnap of Jason Scott Maynard near Arrowtown in November 2011.
Maynard was beaten by a gang of Queenstown men brandishing a meat cleaver and wearing balaclavas at the Crown Range turnoff.
The men claim Maynard sold them fake drugs and several of them have already served prison time after admitting to various charges.
Faul, of Speargrass Flat, has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and offering to supply the class B drug ecstasy. Faul’s jury trial began at Invercargill District Court yesterday.
Defence lawyer Jonathan Eaton described Maynard as a “drug dealer, con artist, fraudster [and a] rip-off merchant”, in his opening address.
Eaton says Faul’s friends asked her to arrange a meeting with Maynard after they tried a white substance he’d supplied to them.
They realised they’d been “completely ripped off”, Eaton says, believing the ‘drugs’ to be flour and sugar.
“The boys went overboard and beat him up,” Eaton says.
Maynard was then bundled into the back of Faul’s car and she drove off.
But Faul was not criminally responsible for what they did and it was not planned, Eaton says.
Because Faul drove off from the scene with “a bloke she knew”, she was facing a kidnapping charge, Eaton says.
“Not only is this unfair, but this is plain wrong,” Eaton says.
“She had no control over whether he was put in the car. She never formed any intention to confine this man.”
Eaton told the jury they would hear no evidence of Faul offering to supply ecstasy, because there is none he says.
“If you are a social user, there is someone you buy drugs from, in this case, Jason Maynard,” Eaton says. ”She had not offered to supply anybody at all.”
The court heard four of seven Crown witnesses yesterday, including the victim.
Maynard, a quantity surveyor now living in Auckland, says he lived in Cromwell in 2011.
Under questioning from Crown lawyer Mary-Jane Thomas, he described the attack and kidnapping.
“I was beaten, yeah, just absolutely beaten,” Maynard says.
Maynard told the court he was punched several times before he hit the ground, and was then kicked a couple of times.
Maynard says he was forcefully put into the back of a car and although his memory was hazy, he remembered being driven somewhere before he was forced out of it.
Under cross-examination, Maynard says he had known Faul for a few months, and had “passed on” some drugs to her.
Maynard did not know what the substance was, describing it as “whiteish”.
When pressed about why he thought the meeting occurred, Maynard says he had no idea, and could not remember being asked to give the drug money back.
Maynard says he remembered fearing for his life that night.
Faul’s former flatmate, Amanda Wallak, told the court Faul visited her about 2pm on November 26, 2011, the day after the incident, driving a silver Subaru.
Wallak says Faul was upset after a “drug deal went wrong and her friend Jason got beaten up”.
Wallak says Faul wanted a flatmate to look at the silver Subaru because she wanted to buy it, and did not want to be seen in her own car, a yellow Altezza, because there was “blood or something in it”.
The trial is set down for three days.
– Otago Daily Times