Four men have been charged with kidnapping Australian cricket icon Stuart MacGill at gunpoint in Sydney's lower north shore.
The 50-year-old was allegedly assaulted and held for over an hour by the group after they detained him.
Shockingly, one of the kidnappers was the brother of MacGill's current girlfriend, Maria O'Meagher.
Just before the incident, MacGill had been working at Aristotle's - a Greek restaurant in Neutral Bay - with his current partner.
He has been general manager of the establishment for more than three years.
Police will claim that the former Test cricketer was confronted near the intersection of Parraween Street and Winne Street in Cremorne at about 8pm on Wednesday, 14 April 2020.
It is alleged that a 46-year-old man engaged McGill initially before two other men arrived at the scene. Following this the ex-leg spinner was forced into a vehicle.
He was driven to a home at Bringelly, Sydney's west. It was here that police allege the two men and another unknown man attacked MacGill and threatened him with a gun. Assault charges have also been laid against the men.
According to the police facts, about an hour later he was driven to the suburb of Belmore. At this stage he was released by the men.
Bringelly is about one hour from Cremorne and Belmore is a 40-minute drive from Bringelly.
Police Report Made
According to NSW Police, the alleged kidnapping was reported to officers from North Shore Police Area Command on Wednesday, 20 April 2021.
An investigation was subsequently commenced by detectives from the State Crime Command's Robbery and Serious Crime Squad.
As a result, four men - aged 27, 29, 42 and 46 - were arrested by police. One of the four men was Marino Sotiropoulos - the brother of MacGill's girlfriend, Maria O'Meagher.
Richard Schaaf, 29, and his brother Frederick Schaaf, 27, as well as a fourth man, Son Mihn Nguyen, 42, were charged with kidnapping, also known as take/detain for advantage.
Nguyen is alleged to be the mastermind behind the incident. It has been alleged that Richard Schaaf is an associate of the Comanchero bikie gang.
Police executed search warrants at homes in Sutherland, Caringbah, Brighton Le-Sands, Banksia and Marrickville on Wednesday, 5 May 2021 as investigations continue.
Police Declare Stuart MacGill "Purely a Victim"
Police have since emphatically declared MacGill was "purely a victim" of kidnapping and did not have "any personal debt" to the four men who allegedly abducted him at gunpoint.
"He is not involved in any other backstory that leads to him having a personal debt," Mr Holton said.
Superintendent Holton was then asked if it was random or MacGill knew the man who allegedly confronted him on the street.
"I would be saying it was a personal relationship," he replied.
He was then asked: "He's essentially been betrayed by someone that he knew?"
"Yes," Supt Holton said.
Referring to the six days spent in the hotel before reporting the incident, he added: "To be standing on a street in Cremorne, to be dragged into a car, driven to a remote location, physically assaulted, threatened with a firearm, held for a period of time and then dumped, I think you'd be pretty worried about your own personal safety and the safety of your family and your friends."
Stuart MacGill's Girlfriend Speaks Out
Stuart MacGill's girlfriend Maria O'Meagher spoke out just days after news broke the Australian cricket great had been allegedly kidnapped by her brother.
Ms O'Meagher is the owner of Aristotle's restaurant in Cremorne where MacGill worked.
The restaurant owner initially said her relationship with MacGill was over before backtracking and revealed she was not "close" to her brother.
"Stuart and I are still together. We are all still frightened ... I no longer feel safe (and) I really do not understand what happened. My brother and I led very different lives and although we were brother and sister we weren't that close."
Ms O'Meagher confirmed MacGill was safe though scared saying, "Everyone's fine and everyone's well, but I'm not interested in talking about what happened."
She also said, "Unfortunately I am caught in the middle of a horrible situation but all I can do is support Stu and my family. My elderly parents and children are really suffering and I am fearful for them. They are really in the dark about what happened."
MacGill was previously before Manly Local Court in 2019 after he was caught driving a motor vehicle while almost three times over the legal limit.
He was charged with mid-range drink driving. He had an 'unknown number of glasses of red wine' when police pulled him over on Military Road, in Sydney's north shore, late on November 21, 2019.
In 2017, he agreed to an apprehended violence order (AVO) taken out by police on behalf of his ex-girlfriend Julie Singleton.
Police applied for the order after an incident between MacGill and Ms Singleton - the ex-wife of multi-millionaire John Singleton - in December 2016.
MacGill was served the AVO on Boxing Day that year and later agreed to it in court without admitting fault.
MacGill has two kids with ex-wife Rachel Friend. He married the former Neighbours actress in 2000 before separating in 2013.
MacGill, played 44 Test matches for Australia and three One Day Internationals.
The offence of kidnapping is defined as taking or carrying away another person by force or fraud without the consent of that person and without a lawful excuse pursuant to Section 86 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
Examples of kidnapping may include detaining someone against their will or transporting a person somewhere against their wishes.
There is a maximum penalty of up to 14-years imprisonment for the offence of kidnapping a person in NSW. Given the seriousness of the charge, it is important that you contact an experienced kidnapping lawyer if you are facing these charges. Contact Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can beat a kidnapping charge in two ways. Firstly, Police must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- That you take or detain another person;
- You knew that person was not consenting to that detention; and
- you had the intention of obtaining an advantage by that detention; or
- you intended to hold that person to ransom; or
- You intended to commit a serious indictable offence (ie. an offence carrying a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment or more)
"Detain" is defined as a person causing the person to remain where he or she is.
"Taking" is defined as the Accused causing the person to accompany the Accused to another location.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.