A man who kidnapped a woman and held her captive in a
Hamilton shed has been jailed for nearly three years.
John Martin, of no fixed abode, appeared in the High Court at
Hamilton today and was sentenced to two years and nine months
in prison after admitting a charge of kidnapping earlier this
The court was told that early on April 10 last year, the
20-year-old drove to his victim's South Auckland house with
The group kidnapped her and held her captive and hogtied in a
The woman escaped and jumped a fence to a neighbour's house.
She suffered bruising and abrasions to her neck, wrists and
Justice Murray Gilbert said Martin's victim was slight and
vulnerable and had been detained by multiple offenders,
blindfolded and bound and had a knife held to her throat.
He said one of Martin's co-offenders had been sentenced to 18
months in prison but was "significantly less culpable"than he
"You collected the victim from her address, drove her to
Hamilton, threatened her and held a knife to her neck," he
Justice Gilbert considered Martin's age at the time of the
offending and said he was acting under the direction of
another, who wanted the victim to pay a ransom of $30,000
with $10,000 of the sum to go to Martin for his role.
But he said Martin, who moved with his mother to New Zealand
in 2007 from Syria after his father had settled here as a
political refugee, had been influenced negatively by his
He said that despite Martin's early guilty plea he did not
consider he was "genuinely remorseful".
"The pre-sentence report suggests that you have attempted to
downplay your culpability."
Three others, whose names are suppressed, are also charged
with kidnapping. They will stand trial next year.
- By James Ihaka of the New Zealand Herald