Corowa kidnap by knife, golf club and secateurs

A PASSENGER in a vehicle pulled over by police in Lavington on Monday night ran to the highway patrol vehicle to tell police he had been kidnapped at Corowa, a court heard yesterday.

The man told police he had been threatened with a golf club, garden secateurs and a knife and was tied up after a demand for money.

The court was told Anthony Richard Illarietti had demanded $1000 and the victim made a phone banking transfer so money could be withdrawn from an ATM.

Police had seen Illarietti driving and talking on a mobile phone in Lavington about 7.25pm on Monday and had stopped him.

He had attempted to drive away after the victim escaped, but Illarietti was stopped and arrested.

An alleged woman accomplice, Krystal Joy Stewart, was also arrested and when searched, $900 in $50 notes was found hidden in her bra.

Illarietti, 29, of Kaitlers Road, Lavington, and Stewart, 31, of Corowa, appeared in custody in Albury Local Court, each charged with detaining a person for their advantage.

Stewart was also charged with intimidating a police officer.

She allegedly told an arresting police officer: “Your wife and kids are dead. I am going to kill them”.

Illarietti made no application for bail with a breach of parole warrant outstanding.

Police opposed bail for Stewart, but she was released provided she reported daily to police, observed a nightly curfew and did not contact any witnesses.

The charges against Illarietti and Stewart have been adjourned until April 8.

Magistrate Megan Greenwood was told the victim had previously met Stewart who was working at a Corowa hotel.

Illarietti and Stewart went to the victim’s home about 2pm on Monday and entered through a back door.

Illarietti had a golf club and told the victim they had “stuff to work out”.

Illarietti lifted his shirt revealing garden secateurs and a knife which were put on an ironing board.

The victim, fearing for his safety, transferred $1000 and provided his bank card and PIN.

He was tied up and Stewart kept watch on him while Illarietti left and later returned with money that was given to her.

The victim was told to get some clothes and Illarietti got alcohol and cigarettes before leaving for Albury.

When police stopped Illarietti, he walked around and stood in front of the rear passenger window.

The victim was in the back seat with child-proof locks on the doors, but he wound down a window to get out.

After her arrest, police searched Stewart’s bag and found rope and garden secateurs.

A golf club was found in the vehicle and a knife about 28 centimetres long was in the glove box.

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