Fake police raid allegedly kicked off night from hell
CLAD in vests, their faces hidden and hands gloved, five intruders yelled out "Police, Police!" as they allegedly smashed their way into the home of a Belgian model and her businessman boyfriend.
An Ipswich court for the first time heard the graphic details of the allegations levelled against the men accused of carrying out an allegedly planned kidnapping and torture.
At Ipswich Magistrates Court on Thursday, police opposed bail for one of the accused men, 25-year-old Jordan Roman Brennan.
The court heard police would allege the armed intruders forced the victims into a van, with the Ipswich businessman suffering burns and multiple serious injuries.
Threats were made by members of the group to shoot bullets into the brains of both Eduardus Groenewegen, and his girlfriend Caroll Dufailly, Queensland Police will allege.
The prosecution case also alleges Brennan had guns, ammunition, personal armour, and nearly $46,000 in cash found when police raided his Robina home on the Gold Coast and arrested him.
Brennan did not appear in person for his unsuccessful bail application, which was made on his behalf by high profile lawyer Michael Bosscher.
Mr Bosscher argued it was a weak prosecution case with only circumstantial evidence.
Brennan is jointly charged with two other men of doing acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm (serious organised crime) at Raceview on October 25, 2019; two counts of kidnapping; administering poison with intent to harm between October 24-27; two counts of torture; assaults causing bodily harm/armed/in company; two counts of deprivation of liberty; entering a dwelling with intent by break at night; use, threaten violence when armed; two counts of extortion with intent to gain benefit with threat of detriment serious personal injury; disguising his face with intent to commit serious offence; impersonating police; and two counts of robbery when armed/in company/using personal violence.
In outlining to the magistrate the very serious nature of the charges, prosecutor Sergeant Chris O'Neill said Mr Groenewegen and Ms Dufailly were asleep at their Raceview home at 10.28pm on October 25 last year when they woke to the noise of a front gate being smashed.
They got up and saw a white van outside.
They told police five people wearing vests with white lettering smashed a glass door with a door ram similar to that used by a police tactical unit.
They repeated yelled: "Police, Police, search warrant."
Sgt O'Neill said Mr Groenewegen was struck in the face with the butt of a rifle and collapsed on the stairs where he was set upon by members of the group, who kicked and struck him.
It will also be alleged two of the intruders went upstairs and held a gun to the back of Ms Dufailly, telling her she was under arrest while restraining her wrists with zip ties.
The intruders then demanded the combination to a safe.
Mr Groenewegen was sprayed in the eyes and mouth, and duct tape was put over the eyes and mouth of Ms Dufailly, police will allege, before both of them were forced into the van.
"They were repeatedly asked for the combination of the safe, and threats were made to cut off his fingers," Sgt O'Neill said.
Police will allege the offenders threatened: "If you don't we are gonna rape your sexy girlfriend. Put a bullet in your brain. Put a bullet in your girlfriend's brain and set fire to the van with you in it."
Police will allege ammonia was poured over Mr Groenewegen and down his throat causing him to choke.
While being driven around in the van he lost consciousness, and the couple was later dumped in bushland at Ripley.
Sgt O'Neill said Mr Groenewegen was put into intensive care at hospital with life-threatening injuries including caustic fluid burns to his scrotum.
A series of photos depicting his serious injuries was tended to Magistrate Kurt Fowler.
Mr Bosscher argued that a 'ciphr' (encryption device) that police were alleging had links to a mobile phone Brennan supposedly had was strongly disputed, with neither telecommunications device located by police.
He said police had taken possession of duct tape, cigarette butts, copied shoe and tyre prints but there was nothing that connected any of the offending to Brennan.
"There is no evidence he has been identified by any person in the course of this alleged offending," Mr Bosscher said.
"Every household in Australia would have duct tape and a can of WD-40."
Mr Bosscher said Brennan should receive bail as there would be a lengthy delay in the Crown case proceeding to trial. He said Brennan was willing to wear a tracking device and could provide a surety.
Magistrate Kurt Fowler said the defence lawyer rightly conceded the charges were of an "extraordinarily serious nature", with Brennan maintaining that he had not been present, or party to it.
He said that despite the bail conditions offered by Brennan, he was not satisfied or convinced the case against him was as weak as was being suggested.
He refused bail and the matter was adjourned to September 2.
Last month one of the accused men, Mark Clinton Atta-Singh, who police allege to be a member of the Lone Wolf outlaw motorcycle gang, was successful in his bail application. Atta-Singh, 41, who intends to defend the charges, was granted bail under strict conditions to live at his Helensvale home.
The case of a third co-accused, Justin John Kuhner, 40, from Fairfield in Sydney, also continues before the Ipswich court after he was extradited to Queensland. He has not applied for bail and remains held in custody.