It is reported that former Australian cricket star, Stuart MacGill, was kidnapped, beaten up, then released an hour later in an alleged kidnapping that took place in Sydney’s Lower North Shore last month.
According to NSW Police, around 8pm on Wednesday 14 April 2021, the cricketer was allegedly confronted by a 46-year-old man whom he knew near the intersection of Parraween and Winnie Streets in the suburb of Cremorne.
A short time later, the pair were confronted by two other men, who allegedly forced 50-year-old Mr MacGill into a vehicle.
He was then driven to a remote property at Bringelly on the city’s outskirts, where the two men, along with another unknown man, allegedly assaulted the ex-cricketer, before threatening him with a firearm.
Roughly an hour later, Mr MacGill was driven to the south-west suburb of Belmore and released.
It is understood he sustained minor injuries in the incident, however, did not require medical care.
A week later on 20 April, Mr MacGill reported the attack to officers from North Shore Police Area Command, the delay due to him being worried about his family’s safety.
Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad were notified and subsequently commenced an investigation under Strike Force Cain.
According to police, the plot had been financially motivated, while speaking of the kidnapping, Detective Anthony Holton said anyone would be “pretty worried” in such a situation.
“To be standing on a street, to be dragged into a car, driven a remote location, physically assaulted, threatened with a firearm, held for a period of time and then dumped, I think you would be pretty worried,” Detective Holton said.
“I know it is only an hour that he was held, but it would have been a horribly frightful hour to endure through.”
Detective Holton added that Mr MacGill’s ordeal was “not involved in any back story that leads to him having a personal debt to other people”, acknowledging he was solely being treated as a “victim of a targeted kidnapping”.
Two-Week Long Investigation and Raids Leads to Arrest of Four Men Over Kidnapping Incident, Including Brother of Cricketer’s Ex-Partner
On 5 May 2021, following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives, with assistance from Raptor Squad and the Public Order and Riot Squad, arrested four men over the kidnapping.
Leading up to this, heavily armed officers stormed homes in Sutherland and Caringbah in Sydney’s south, along with Brighton Le-Sands, Banksia and Marrickville, while a crime scene warrant was executed at a property in Bringelly.
During the searches, officers seized mobile phones and a vehicle – all of which will undergo further examination.
Amongst those arrested was a 27-year-old man in Caringbah and a 29-year-old man in Sutherland.
The men were taken to Sutherland Police Station and both charged with participate criminal group contribute criminal activity and take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasion actual bodily harm.
Additionally, a 42-year-old man was arrested at Banksia, while a 46-year-old man – believed to be the brother of Mr MacGill’s ex-partner – was arrested at Brighton Le Sands.
The 42-year-old man was charged with knowingly direct activities of criminal group and take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasion actual bodily harm.
The 46-year-old man was charged with take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasion actual bodily harm, participate criminal group contribute criminal activity and supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity).
All four men were refused bail.
Investigations into the incident by the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad are continuing.
Between 1998 and 2008, Stuart MacGill represented Australia in 44 Test matches, serving as Shane Warne’s stand-in for most of his international career.
He was a Test spinner and claimed 208 Test wickets at an average of 29.03, including 12 five-wicket hauls.
At one point, he was ranked the world’s second-best bowler, behind his team-mate Shane Warne.
Currently, the former Australian cricketer works as the general manager of a restaurant in Sydney’s northern suburbs.
Mr MacGill is yet to provide public comment on the incident.
Kidnap Charges in New South Wales
Kidnapping is defined as the intentional holding of a person without that person’s consent.
In NSW, as per section 86 of the Crimes Act 1900, this is a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.
Section 86 makes clear that a basic kidnapping offence occurs where a person takes or detains a person, without the person’s consent, either intending to hold the person to ransom; or intending to commit a serious indictable offence; or with the intention of obtaining any other advantage.
However, if the kidnapping offence is aggravated – where it occurs in the company of another person or results in the victim sustaining actual bodily harm – the maximum penalty for an offence increases to 20 years in jail.
Furthermore, if the kidnapping is specially aggravated – where it occurs in the company of another person and the victim also sustains actual bodily harm, the maximum penalty again increases to 25 years in jail.
By Sahar Adatia.