Lenient jail sentence for Koroit kidnapper

A KOROIT man who kidnapped a young woman after the Port Fairy Folk Festival was yesterday jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Russell Ian Payne, 42, of Black Street, has already spent 274 days in protective custody, which will be deducted from his total sentence.

He must serve a minimum two years in prison.

Judge Julian Leckie told Payne in Warrnambool County Court yesterday he had taken into account his guilty plea and remorse for his actions.

“But for the plea of guilty I would have imposed a more serious sentence of four years, four months,” the judge said.

“Because of the seriousness of this crime, I’ve got no alternative but an immediate prison sentence.

“I must be mindful of deterrence and protection of community members from you.

“But it will be lower than the normal minimum because of the guilty plea, your remorse,  that  you are in protective custody now and the fact that your depressive condition will likely deteriorate in custody.”

Judge Leckie said he wanted to maximise Payne’s chances of rehabilitation.

After sentencing was handed down Payne was ordered to have a DNA sample taken from his mouth and the information placed on a register in case of further re-offending.

Prosecution evidence showed that on March 10 last year about 2.30am Payne had offered a ride to Naomi Madison, 21, of Warrnambool, and her 17-year-old brother, who had been to the folk festival.

He told them he worked for the shire council and was there to help patrons get home safely.

However, while on the Princes Highway Payne stopped his car near Dennington and asked the brother to get out and fetch cans of drink from the boot. When the teen did so Payne drove off and called out “see you later buddy”.

“Naomi became terrified and screamed at you to let her out,” Judge Leckie said. “You said, “I’m taking you”.

“Naomi then jumped out of the car which was travelling an estimated 40 to 50 kilometres an hour.”

She received numerous cuts and abrasions.

Her brother was running towards her and they hid in bushes beside the road and called 000 for help.

Payne was later apprehended by police, given a breath test which showed a reading of .09 per cent, and released. The following day he was questioned by police and initially denied the kidnap before being charged.

“Your conduct in tricking the brother to get out and then driving off is quite disturbing,” Judge Leckie said.

“Your motive is unclear. You pleaded guilty which saved the community the time and cost of a trial and saved Naomi and her brother from having to give evidence in a trial. I’m prepared to accept you have some remorse.”

Judge Leckie said the victim not only endured physical pain but still suffered emotional and psychological trauma.

He said Payne had a troubled childhood, becoming a ward of the state at the age of two and being raised in foster care. After leaving school he developed an alcohol problem, had relationship problems and was convicted and jailed for armed robbery in 1990.

A medical report presented to the court showed Payne had chronic depressive disorder.

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