Kidnap accused avoids drug charge conviction

A Queenstown woman accused of kidnapping a drug dealer has been discharged without conviction on a related charge.

 Rachel Maree Faul, 22, of Speargrass Flat, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of offering to supply the Class B drug ecstasy in November 2011.

Judge Gary MacAskill told a jury at Invercargill District Court this morning he had discharged Faul on the charge.

Judge MacAskill says: "A judge can discharge a defendant on charges under certain circumstances.

"The circumstances have arisen in this case... please do not guess or speculate on the reasons."

Faul still faces a second charge - unlawfully detaining Jason Scott Maynard - and the jury is currently deliberating whether she is guilty.

Maynard was beaten by a gang of Queenstown men brandishing a meat cleaver and wearing balaclavas at the Crown Range turn-off on November 25, 2011, after a drug deal gone wrong.

Maynard was then bundled into the back seat of Faul's car. Faul drove three kilometres towards Arrowtown before stopping to let him out.

Several Queenstown men have been convicted of charges relating to Maynard's beating and kidnapping.

Brodie O'Rourke and Michael Coulter both ended up with convictions for wounding with intent.

Judge MacAskill, summing up Faul's case this morning, told the jury O'Rourke and Coulter's convictions should not influence their decision on whether Faul is guilty of unlawfully detaining Maynard or aiding O'Rourke to unlawfully detain Maynard.

MacAskill says the jury would need to be sure beyond reasonable doubt "not that it was possible or even probable, but beyond reasonable doubt" that Faul had detained Maynard without lawful reason, acted for the purpose of him being detained, and knew he had not consented to being detained - or aided O'Rourke to the same end.

Defence lawyer Jonathon Eaton said on the first day of the three-day trial that the jury would hear no evidence of Faul offering to supply ecstasy "because there is none".

Maynard, a quantity surveyor now living in Auckland, has been convicted of drug dealing offences relating to his time living in Cromwell in 2011.

The Queenstown men who beat him believed he had sold them fake drugs made of flour and sugar rather than actual ecstasy. The Crown maintains Faul then arranged the meeting at the Crown Range turn-off.