Pair face kidnap charges in Bendigo court

Update:

Police have found a sawn-off shot gun they claim was used in an alleged kidnapping on Wednesday night.

Detective Senior Constable Len Ladner said the firearm was found by a Kangaroo Flat resident in a front yard close to the crime scene yesterday evening.

Police originally thought the gun had been thrown in Kangaroo Flat Creek but SES searched the area yesterday with no result.

Detective Ladner said the gun would be kept in evidence as a part of the ongoing investigation.

Earlier: 

Two men accused of kidnapping a drug dealer at gunpoint have been remanded in custody.

Michael Darmody, 49, of California Gully, and Bradley Roberts, 24, of Long Gully, faced Bendigo Magistrates Court unrepresented yesterday and both made unsuccessful applications for bail.

The pair are charged with a number of offences including kidnapping, false imprisonment, intentionally causing injury, assault, threats to kill, aggravated burglary and possession of an unregistered firearm.

The court heard the pair had been drinking at the British and American Hotel in California Gully on Wednesday night and were walking home when they got into a fight and Darmody headbutted Roberts.

Detective Senior Constable Len Ladner said Darmody later rang Roberts to apologise and asked him to source some methylamphetamine from a “small-time ice dealer”, a friend of Roberts.

Senior Detective Ladner said Roberts rang his dealer friend and arranged to meet him in Happy Valley Road about 12.30am to buy half a gram of ice for $400.

“Darmody was armed with a sawn-off shotgun, Roberts with a serrated long-blade kitchen knife,” he said.

“The plan was to rob the victim for any cash and drugs he had on him.”

Senior Detective Ladner said that when the victim arrived, Darmody held a gun to his head and ordered him to drive.

“Darmody made threats to shoot and kill the victim... Roberts threatened to stick him with the knife,” he said.

“The victim begged Darmody and Roberts not to kill him because he had a small child.

“They forced the victim to call his partner and tell her to put all money, drugs and valuables into the letterbox which they would collect.”

But when the men arrived at the victim’s Kangaroo Flat house the letterbox was empty, Senior Detective Ladner said.

He said Roberts kicked in the front door of the house and Darmody grabbed the victim’s partner by the throat, pushing her to the ground and holding the gun to her head.

“This was witnessed by a two-year-old child who was distressed and crying,” he said.

Senior Detective Ladner said both men left the house empty-handed but were found by police 30 minutes later hiding in bushes between the Kangaroo Flat BP service station and McDonald’s.

He said he believed Darmody had thrown the shotgun in Kangaroo Flat Creek and the SES was still looking for the weapon yesterday.

The court heard Darmody had several prior convictions and had spent significant time in jail.

“He is a violent man who shows no respect for the law,” Senior Detective Ladner said.

He said Darmody and Roberts were also wanted in relation to another burglary where an iron bar and tomahawk were used.

Senior Detective Ladner said both men were ice users.

Standing in the dock, Darmody repeatedly argued the police had not found a gun and he never had a gun.

He also denied he was an ice addict.

Roberts – jittery and sporting several large cuts to his face – admitted he was withdrawing from both ice and marijuana.

He asked to be released on bail so he could see his three children.

But Magistrate Jennifer Tregent said the charges were too serious to grant bail.

“I am loathe to release anyone on bail when a weapon is still somewhere out in the community,” Ms Tregent said.

Both men were remanded to the same court on December 12 for a committal mention.

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