Brisbane man Anthony Stott, who was hit and killed by a semi-trailer on the M1 at Cudgera Creek. Picture: Facebook
Brisbane man Anthony Stott, who was hit and killed by a semi-trailer on the M1 at Cudgera Creek. Picture: Facebook

Man charged over kidnapping ‘haunted, sickened’ by tragedy

A MAN "sickened" by the death of Brisbane school teacher Anthony Stott has handed himself into police.

Craig Arthur Button, 49, was arrested and charged with taking or detaining a person in company with intent to obtain advantage occasioning actual bodily harm with the court later told he had allegedly confessed his involvement to investigators at Tweed Heads Police Station last night.

Mr Stott was fatally hit by a semi-trailer on the Pacific Highway near Cudgera Creek about 7am on February 10.

Police allege before Mr Stott was killed, he escaped, or was released, from a nearby property where he was tied to a chair and beaten with a golf club by Lauren Grainger, 38, and Mark Frost, 46.

During a bail application on Monday, Grainger claimed Mr Stott entered her Cudgera Creek property armed with a knife.

It was alleged in court that Grainger and her partner Mark Frost, 46, tied Mr Stott to a chair by his arms and neck to force a confession.

Button applied for bail in Tweed Heads Local Court today via videolink from Tweed Heads Police Station.

Sergeant Bill Chaffey opposed the application, alleging Button may be involved in disposing of evidence.

Sgt Chaffey told the court Button witnessed the death of Mr Stott and "rendered no aid".

He alleged Button only became remorseful after he was questioned about the incident by family.

 

Tweed-Byron police set up a crime scene at a Kanes Rd, Cudgera Creek property where Anthony Stott was allegedly detained by Mark Francis Frost and Lauren Claire Grainger. Photo: Scott Powick
Tweed-Byron police set up a crime scene at a Kanes Rd, Cudgera Creek property where Anthony Stott was allegedly detained by Mark Francis Frost and Lauren Claire Grainger. Photo: Scott Powick

 

Defence lawyer Phil Mulherin quashed the claim Button saw the fatal accident.

Mr Mulherin told the court Button gave investigators a "candid and detailed account" of his alleged involvement with Mr Stott's kidnapping.

Mr Mulherin said the night of Mr Stott's alleged assault, his client was woken by Frost who said there was an intruder on the property.

Button claims Mr Stott arrived at the property "incoherent, with no shoes, wallet or phone".

Mr Mulherin told the court his client admitted "they took him up (to the farm shed) and tied him to a chair" but it was Grainger who hit Mr Stott first.

"When they released him, he wasn't terribly beaten," Mr Mulherin said.

He said Mr Stott was released and firstly jogged, then walked towards the Pacific Motorway while Button and "other parties followed".

"This person and other parties followed and after five minutes of the victim being out of sight, the crash was heard," he said.

"He was sickened by it.

"He is a person who has been haunted by this matter since it occurred."

Mr Mulherin said if granted bail, his client, who lives at Maroondan, Queensland, would live with his partner at Logan and was willing to surrender his passport.

He said the father of three would also offer a $2000 bond and would report to police daily.

Magistrate Paul MacMahon told the court he was satisfied Button would not commit further offences and there was no evidence to suggest he interfered with evidence.

Button was granted bail on the conditions he does not contact Grainger or Frost or any prosecution witnesses, does not enter NSW, lives with his partner at Logan, reports to the local police station four times a week, surrenders his passport, does not enter an international airport and pays a $2000 bond.

His case will reappear in court on April 6.



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