Koroit man pleads guilty to kidnapping

A Koroit man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping a Warr­n­am­bool woman earlier this year.

Former Moyne Shire Council worker Russell Ian Payne, 41, of Black Street, appeared briefly in Warrnambool County Court yesterday before Judge Julian Leckie. He pleaded guilty to one charge of kidnapping.

In September Warrnambool woman Naomi Madison, 21, gave graphic evidence at a committal hearing in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court.

Ms Madison told the hearing that she and her 16-year-old brother went to the Port Fairy Folk Festival with a friend on March 10 after she finished work at 10pm.

She said they missed a lift home early the next morning and decided to ride with Mr Payne from Port Fairy to Warrnambool, believing he was a security guard working for the Moyne Shire. 

However, Mr Payne pulled over on the Princes Highway on the western outskirts of Dennington and left her brother on the side of the road. Ms Madison said she then jumped from the car after Mr Payne told her “I’m taking you”. The court heard she leapt out as the car drove off, causing injuries to her ankles, left knee, left side of her head, left shoulder and right elbow. 

“My thinking was that I would prefer to jump out of a moving car rather than wait and see what was going to happen to me,” Ms Madison said in her statement.

A plea hearing will be heard today with a victim impact statement expected to be tendered to the court.


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