KIDNAPPED & TORTURED OVER A $5,000 DRUG DEBT
A 20-year-old science student, who was allegedly kidnapped and tortured over a $5000 debt, has told a Perth Western Australian District Court jury how he feared for his life.
Griffin Xanda de la Hunty Jagoe took the stand late yesterday in the trial against Simon Sun, 46, Ranjadardar Said, 28, and Sammy Conteh, 19.
The three men face a range of charges including kidnapping, extortion and assault occasioning bodily harm, some of which was allegedly videoed on a mobile phone. All three men still deny the charges.
State prosecutor Brett Tooker told the court that Mr Jagoe was “captured nearly 12 hours and repeatedly assaulted in cruel and demeaning ways before being rescued by Tactical Response officers”.
Mr Tooker said the sequence of events was triggered after Mr Jagoe offered to sell Mr Said a replica gun he was given after a night out drinking with a friend in Northbridge.
Mr Said was unhappy about the deal because he wanted a real gun and consequently came back to threaten Mr Jagoe and make him responsible for a separate debt to Mr Said.
Mr Tooker told the court Mr Jagoe had been repeatedly assaulted at Mr Sun’s house in Bentley on the night of October 15 last year and again at Mr Said’s apartment in Perth city the following day.
Mr Jagoe was gagged, had his head shaven, had a glass smoking pipe smashed in his mouth, a syringe stabbed to his neck, which snapped off, and was cut with a knife twice to the upper body and to his clothes.
He also had rusty railway nails tapped into the skin on his head and had an axe ground against his fingers.
“Not hard, just enough to do some damage,” Mr Tooker said.
Mr Tooker said police discovered snippets of video footage taken on an iPhone of those events, which included him being urinated on.
“Something so brazen, something so foolhardy that you’ll hardly believe it’s true,” he told the jury shortly before showing them the footage.
In the footage the jury could see Mr Jagoe gagged on a couch with a man with shaving cream on his face standing over him and someone saying “that’s the style”, followed by footage of one man laughing and clapping as the same man as before appear to urinate on Mr Jagoe, with a third man behind the camera saying “give him massages” in broken English.
Mr Jagoe admitted in court to being an amphetamine dealer for his friends so that he could feed his habit and make some money on the side.
He said he had been contacted by a friend who said he had someone who wanted to buy the replica gun but when the men arrived, which included a man by the name of “Biggie”, who the prosecution says was Mr Said, they wanted a real gun.
They later returned when Mr Jagoe was having a party at his Maylands home on a Saturday night, just after Father’s Day, in September 2010.
“Biggie was upset… [He was] clearly quite agitated & stirred up, giving me serious stares. [He was saying] ‘Why you trying to rip me off’, what I thought I was doing,” Mr Jagoe told the court.
“I got into the back seat to talk to Biggie. I tried to explain it was a misunderstanding. I thought they wanted the replica.
“…I was punched and hit with the butt of the gun. …[He said] ‘ I can get a real gun, don’t f..k with me buddy’. He pointed it at me, pointed it around and hit me to the side of the head.”
Mr Jagoe said he was then told he was responsible for his friend’s debt of $5000 and would have to pay up by midday that following Sunday.
“I thought he was going to kill me,” Mr Jagoe said.
The student said he sold some amphetamines to a friend for $700 that night and then set about trying to sell more drugs to pay back the debt.
He said an African man named “Sammy” also took his property, which included a $10,000 computer tower, which had specialised music hardware he used to produce music part-time.
He said after being threatened on several occasions he had to call in favours of friends and family to pay thousands of dollars towards the debt that was accumulating untold interest.
Eventually after paying $6900 and losing property worth up to $15,000, including a passport Mr Jagoe thought it was over.
“I thought that was all I had to pay… That’s all he said I had to pay,” Mr Jagoe said.
“He was still an intimidating, scary man that threatened me and hit me before so I didn’t want to incite him.”
But that was only the beginning according to the prosecution.
Mr Jagoe will continue to give evidence today.
Meanwhile Mr Said’s lawyer, Ian Hope, said the jury had to judge the reliability of the evidence given by Mr Jagoe who was on “hard, mind-altering drugs”.
Similarly Mr Sun’s defence counsel, Alix McGregor, also reiterated her client was innocent until proven guilty, who denied the charges.
And Mr Conteh’s lawyer, Abigail Rogers, claimed her client had never been to Bentley or been part of the events claimed but had simply been at Mr Said’s apartment, helping him move when police arrived.
Mr Jagoe was formerly of the Army Reserve and was currently studying a degree with a triple major in biomedical science, forensic toxicology and molecular biology.