Two Victorian men were partly spurred by revenge when they
robbed and tied up a man who later died from a stress
condition, a judge said as he jailed the duo.
Jack Ray, 23, and Nicholas Vella, 25, tied up Christopher
Meade, who was found dead with his hands and feet bound at
his Doreen home in 2012.
The pair wanted to punish Mr Meade, believing he stole items
from their friends and relatives, including Ray's Play
Station, the Victorian Supreme Court heard.
The men were acquitted of manslaughter, after a judge found
the charge could not be proven.
But both were convicted of false imprisonment and aggravated
Ray was jailed on Friday for three-and-a-half years while
Vella was jailed for three years and three months.
Justice Terry Forrest said the pair were equally culpable and
planned to assault 29-year-old Meade at his outer Melbourne
They struck him several times in the face to the point where
he was able to be tied up.
But restraining him with duct-tape and cable ties may have
been opportunistic as these items were already in Mr Meade's
house, the judge said.
Justice Forrest said the pair were partly motivated by
revenge but they probably also wanted the stolen goods back.
Prosecutors had argued the stress of the ordeal caused a
cardiac arrhythmia which killed Meade.
But Ray's defence said Mr Meade had an undiagnosed heart
condition and was using ice at the time.
The judge could not say for sure Ray and Vella left their
victim knowing he was in distress.
Justice Forrest said while he could not punish them for the
death, he took into account the impact of their conduct on
the Meade family.
Both men had shown remorse and had excellent rehabilitation
prospects, with Vella already a mentor to other prisoners
while behind bars, he said.
Ray, from Yarrambat, will serve a minimum two years while
Vella, from Diamond Creek, will serve a minimum one year and
nine months before being eligible for parole.