BRENDON William Cook - the man who drove the car during a terrifying abduction that ended when one of his fellow kidnappers was stabbed to death - has been jailed for a maximum of seven-and-a-half years.
Cook, now 26, first pursued Killian Reynolds in his own car, before switching vehicles during the brazen bashing and abduction in Donald Street, Hamilton about 3.30am on March 8, 2019. He then drove Mr Reynolds, 51-year-old Valentino Taufaao and Timothy Onslow back to Daniel Mercer's unit in Coady Street, Hamilton South, where Mr Reynolds was detained and mercilessly bashed and Mr Taufaao was ultimately stabbed to death.
Mr Reynolds was initially charged with manslaughter over the death of Mr Taufaao, also known as Malou, but the charge was withdrawn by the DPP due to the belief that Mr Reynolds - stripped naked and badly beaten - had acted in self-defence and had essentially tried to stab his way out of the unit.
Mr Reynolds gave an induced statement after the charge was withdrawn and denied stabbing Mr Taufaao. No one is charged over his death.
The abduction seems to have stemmed from a $500,000 compensation payment Mr Reynolds received and the subsequent extortion he was suffering from several associates.
In the early hours of March 8, 2019, Mr Reynolds was chased by two cars, who forced his car to stop. He was then chased on foot and assaulted. He was dragged into a car being driven by Cook and taken back to a unit in Hamilton South where he was savagely beaten, stripped naked, threatened and eventually smashed over the head with a pole, causing him a compound fracture to his skull.
Cook pleaded guilty to a charge of take and detain in company with intent to get advantage and occasion actual bodily harm and in Newcastle District Court this week was jailed for a maximum of seven-and-a-half years, with a non-parole period of four years.
Timothy Onslow last week pleaded guilty to the same charge and will be sentenced in August.
Mr Mercer, who was charged some 14 months after the abduction, has pleaded not guilty and is next in court on April 21.
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