By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
It is reported that an elderly man was bound, kidnapped and tortured with a taser and drill by two men in a gruesome incident at Murray Bridge in the south-east of South Australia.
According to South Australia Police, in the early hours of 29 February 2020, the elderly man, who remains unnamed, started communicating with one of the kidnappers on a social media app.
The victim and the two men decided to meet later at a Murray Bridge home, at which point the elderly man was allegedly bound and assaulted by the two men.
They tortured him using a taser and a drill, and then threatened the victim with a hatchet as they commanded him to give them money.
The horrific ordeal came to an end when the senior managed to escape his captors early on Saturday morning.
Authorities were alerted to the incident by the victim around 8am, who received superficial injuries from the torture.
It is not understood what the nature of the social media conversation was and it remains unclear as to whether the victim was arguing with his attackers or was tricked into disclosing an address under false pretences.
Police Charge Two Men Aged 36 and 20 with Kidnapping, Assault and Aggravated Robbery
Murray Bridge Police attended a local address later that afternoon, where the discovered the taser, drill and hatchet that were allegedly used during the incident.
Duct tape was also uncovered at the local property.
Authorities arrested two men, aged 36 and 20, who were charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and aggravated robbery.
They were refused bail.
Public Outcry to Impose Tougher Sentences on Criminals Who Target the Elderly
The incident is the latest in what seems to be a mounting number of assaults and home invasion crimes where elderly victims in their own homes are the targets.
In fact, just days prior to the incident, a shocking crime took place in which an elderly man, aged 86, from Goolwa South in Adelaide was repeatedly punched during a brutal home invasion.
Now, public outcry prevails for harsher penalties for criminals who target vulnerable people like the elderly.
According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, many elderly people are unduly fearful of being held the victims of crimes and this fear can have an adverse effect on their quality of life.
Preventing crime for Australia’s elderly is thus a chief concern – and one the involves the whole community.
Indeed, in order for crime prevention for the elderly to be successful, the skills and resources of a wide range of organisations and people need to be employed.
These should include all levels of government, the police, private sector bodies, older peoples’ organisations, the media, and the older people themselves.
One of the fundamental reasons the elderly are more fearful of being victims of crime is because of their increased vulnerability.
A high prevalence of low or reduced income means that any loss of economic resources is more serious.
Even the mere problems of replacing pension books, library tickets, cheque books and other documentation after a home invasion or even purse snatch become more demanding and exhausting when people are older.
Kidnapping is understood as the unlawful seizing or taking away of another person either against that person’s will, or against the will of any parent or legal guardian of that particular individual.
In NSW, it is a crime to kidnap a person, which is reflected in section 86 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
Section 86(1) makes clear that a person guilty of a kidnapping offence can face a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
Section 86(2) makes clear that a person who commits an aggravated kidnapping offence can face a maximum penalty of 20-years jail.
An aggravated kidnapping offence is when you:
- Detain or take a person without his/her consent; and
- While doing so, your intention is to hold him/her for ransom, or to commit a crime that carries a max penalty of at least 5-years jail, or you intend to obtain an advantage; and
- You do this in the company of someone else, or where the alleged victim suffers actual bodily harm as a result (whether immediately before, during or afterwards).
Click here for details on actual bodily harm charges in NSW.
In addition, the separate crime of ‘specially aggravated kidnapping’ carries a max sentence of 25-years jail (section 86(3)) which is when a person commits kidnapping in the company of another person and, in addition the alleged victim suffers actual bodily harm as a result.
Questions on this topic of criminal law? Call our friendly team 24/7 to arrange a free appointment with a criminal lawyer in Sydney today.