Torture trio behind bars over victim’s four-hour ordeal
A TRIO who took part in the kidnapping and bushland torture of a young man have each been sentenced to six-year jail terms.
In a four-hour ordeal the victim was humiliated, burned with a cigarette, threatened with anal rape and made to crawl like a dog, an Ipswich court heard.
A disgusted judge called it frightening, violent, horrible and degrading behaviour.
The apparent motive for the torture was retribution for the victim allegedly informing police regarding one of their friends.
The court was told the offences occurred when four people took the man late at night from the Monaco Motel at North Ipswich to bushland near Fernvale in October 2018.
Desmond Brian Ballangarry, 30, from Brassall; Jordan Taylor Battisson, 24, from Esk; and Emily Rebecca Hannah Smith, 25, from Pine Mountain; each pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing bodily harm when armed in company; five charges of assault; deprivation of liberty; torture; unlawful possession of a firearm; and unlawful use of a motor vehicle. Battisson was sentenced to a further 12 months jail for dangerous driving.
With time already spent in custody the seven year sentence will allow Battisson to become eligible for parole in March 2021.
Ballangarry and Smith will be eligible to apply for parole at the end of this year.
Smith also pleaded guilty to charges of driving unlicensed, possession of dangerous drugs, five counts of stealing, and two further charges of unlawful use of stolen cars.
"He was subjected to humiliation, beatings, and all with the intent of causing him great fear and psychological trauma," Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said in sentencing.
A fourth person charged over the assault and torture will appear before court later this year.
The Crown prosecution case heard before Ipswich District Court included the confronting evidence seen and heard on video recorded on Smith's phone.
The man is seen lying on the ground with his face covered in blood, being verbally abused.
Smith is heard to laugh about the blood on her, saying, "I like it".
A man's voice says "You f***ed my wife", with the injured man called a maggot and a dog.
Smith also puts out a cigarette on the man's forehead and clubs him with a torch.
Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis labelled their crimes "organised thuggery designed to instil terror".
The court was told about a 25-minute early morning police chase involving Battisson driving through the streets of Ipswich and Yamanto. A rifle was pointed at police, and a jerry can was lit and thrown onto the road.
Judge Horneman-Wren said the police video shows "the extraordinary bravery" of police doing their duty despite there being a gun involved.
He said it depicted one officer struggling to put on her body armour and that of the other officer who was driving in the face of great danger.
Battisson's defence barrister Stephen Kissick sought a total penalty of no more than seven years for the two separate offences involving the torture and the dangerous driving.
Mr Kissick said it was another male offender who pointed the gun.
Ballangarry's defence lawyer Rob Carroll said while Ballangarry held a drill during the torture offence, it was only meant to frighten the man and only a minor injury was caused.
"He is remorseful for what happened and for terrifying the complainant," Mr Carroll said.
Scott Neaves, defence barrister for Smith, said she was ashamed of her appalling conduct revealed on the videos.