Last witnesses give evidence in kidnap trial

Both the Crown and the defence yesterday closed their cases during the jury trial of a woman allegedly involved in a violent kidnapping near Arrowtown.

Rachel Maree Faul (22), of Speargrass Flat, has pleaded not guilty before Judge Gary MacAskill in the Invercargill District Court to charges of kidnapping Jason Scott Maynard, and offering to supply the class B drug ecstasy in 2011.

The court yesterday heard the remaining three Crown witnesses - two detectives and a Queenstown doctor.

Detective Grant Miller said he interviewed Faul at the Queenstown police station on November 27, 2011. After speaking to her solicitor, she declined to answer questions but said she was joint owner of a yellow Toyota Altezza, and that was the car she drove.

Dr Susan Weggery, a medical officer at the Lakes District Hospital, treated Mr Maynard on November 26, 2011. His injuries included facial swelling and contusions on his lip and gum, she said.

He was admitted overnight and was diagnosed with mild concussion and facial contusions. He was also ''mildly intoxicated''.

Dr Weggery said it was common for people not to recall all events after concussion so she was not sure if Mr Maynard was unwilling to tell her or could not remember.

The defence did not call any witnesses, or offer any evidence.

In her closing statement, Crown counsel Mary-Jane Thomas said Faul lured Mr Maynard, her friend, to an isolated spot, bringing another group of friends, men who were armed and in disguise.

Faul sat in the car while Mr Maynard was beaten up by five men, before he was put in her car. She drove him away and intended to confine him in her car, Ms Thomas said.

Faul arranged the drug swap or deal, and was responsible for ''tricking Mr Maynard'' into the Crown Range Rd meeting, she said.

''The defendant was an integral part in what happened.''

She referred to evidence from Daniel Kissell, who told the court on Monday, the group had told Mr Maynard he had ripped them off. Referring to text messages between Faul and

Kissell - one of the five men involved in the kidnapping - Ms Thomas said ''you might think from the tone of the texts that she wasn't particularly concerned that her friend Mr Maynard was assaulted''.

One text from Faul mentioned ''... Don't think I want you guys coming after me lol''.

''Does that appear to be from a young woman who is upset?'' Ms Thomas asked.

Regarding the charge of offering to supply the class B drug ecstasy, Ms Thomas said the acceptance of money from Kissell was an indication of a willingness to supply the drug. She said Kissell thought it was ecstasy, but said the Crown accepted he gained this knowledge from a discussion, not from Faul.

''You can infer that when the defendant took the money, that it was about ecstasy. There is no other explanation that you can draw.''

Defence counsel Jonathan Eaton said the Crown suggested Faul was a ''cold, callous, and uncaring person''. He said Faul had not done anything to conceal her identity.

''She went to meet up with Jason Maynard in her own car, easily traceable, calling and texting him on her own phone, easily traceable. It doesn't make any sense that Rachel would deliberately kidnap Jason Maynard.''

Mr Eaton said Faul had ''no doubt heard or perhaps seen parts of him being assaulted'', before Mr Maynard was suddenly in the back seat of her car with Brodie O'Rourke, and her friend Brooke in the front with her.

Faul drove off for about 4km, and after three minutes, she stopped, he said. Mr Eaton said there was ''absolutely no premeditation'' on Faul's part.

''She is confronted with this horror scenario. What was she to do?''In relation to the offering to supply charge, Mr Eaton said the Crown case was seriously flawed. He said the Crown said Faul was guilty of offering to supply Kissell because she took $120.

''He thought it was ecstasy pills. He didn't get any knowledge of ecstasy from Rachel ...

The substance the boys got ... was not ecstasy at all.

''The Crown case relies entirely on what other people may have said.''

The case had been hanging over Faul and her family for the past two years, he said.

The trial continues today.