Kidnap woman tells: I thought I'd die

THE County Court has heard a Warrnambool woman who threw herself out of a moving car was terrified to do so but thought it was a better way to die than at the hands of her kidnapper.

In a victim impact statement tendered to the court, Naomi Madison said she jumped out of the car, believing if she had stayed she would have been raped or murdered.

Russell Ian Payne, 42, of Black Street, Koroit, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool County Court on Thursday to one charge of kidnapping.

Judge Julian Leckie heard that on March 10 this year Ms Madison, then aged 21, and her 17-year-old brother went to the Port Fairy Folk Festival with a friend after finishing work at 10pm.

Prosecutor Justin Lewis said the siblings accepted a lift back to Warrnambool by Payne, who was driving a green Holden Commodore and who told them he worked for the council and was there to ensure kids got home safely.

Mr Lewis said Payne pulled over near Dennington and asked the boy to get three Jim Beam cans from the boot of the car, then did a U-turn and said ‘see you later buddy’, which Payne has denied saying. 

Mr Lewis said Ms Madison was terrified and screamed for Payne to let her out.

It’s alleged Payne said “I’m taking you”, which he has also denied. Ms Madison then jumped from the moving car and ran towards her brother, running through two paddocks and hiding near a building.

A victim impact statement read in court noted she  suffered permanent scarring on her left shoulder, which was an ongoing reminder of the night.

It also stated Ms Madison was suspicious of men and continued to have nightmares.

Defence counsel Matthew Page said it was hoped Payne’s guilty plea would go some way in providing Ms Madison with closure and demonstrated remorse. He said Payne denied giving the impression that he worked as a security guard for the council.

Mr Page said Payne was intoxicated at the time of the offence and was at a loss to explain his actions. 

He said Payne became a ward of the state when he was two and he and his sister were raised with a foster family in Lismore, New South Wales.

He left school at year 10 and had a problem with alcohol for most of his life. Mr Page said Payne had a 17-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter who he hadn’t seen since 2009, when he moved to Koroit to live with his sister.

The court heard Payne had a prior conviction in 1990 for armed robbery in the ACT and a criminal history which involved criminal damage and breaching family violence orders. He will be sentenced by Judge Leckie on Monday.