ON BAIL: Solicitor Nici Schmitt escorts the accused, Andrew Kim Hazel, from the Rockhampton Watchhouse yesterday.
ON BAIL: Solicitor Nici Schmitt escorts the accused, Andrew Kim Hazel, from the Rockhampton Watchhouse yesterday.

Kidnap, stalking, torture, robbery ...



A GRACEMERE man who allegedly posed as a council worker to flag down, kidnap and torture a man who sold him a "dodgy car'' was yesterday released on bail despite strong police objections.

Andrew Kim Hazel, 45, is charged with assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company, kidnapping, torture, deprivation of liberty, unlawful stalking, robbery with violence, entering a vehicle with intent, demanding property with menace, threatening violence and two drug charges. ? In a bail application, police prosecutor Constable Calvin Gnech told the court Hazel had taken the law into his own hands, pre-planning the entire attack.

Constable Gnech said Hazel had driven to Brisbane on December 2 to seek out the 20year-old man who had sold him the car, on which the man still owed money and which was later repossessed.

He said Hazel had allegedly phoned the man telling him he had won a prize and to be home by 6pm to collect it.

Constable Gnech alleged that Hazel then posed as a council worker near the man's home, flagged him down and dragged him from the car.

Hazel is then alleged to have beaten the man with a metal bar, bound his wrists and thrown him in the back seat of the car a co-accused was driving.

They then left the scene and drove around the Brisbane area, threatening to kill the man.

Constable Gnech said Hazel is alleged to have demanded money from the man.

When he discovered the man's wallet was back at his car, the group returned to the scene of the kidnapping, grabbed the wallet and went to an ATM.

Constable Gnech said the man was told if he didn't give his pin number, he would be killed with a Stanley knife.

He said the man alleged he was bashed again for lying about the amount of money in his bank account, which was $50 more than he had said.

The man was eventually driven down a dirt road and dumped in the bush.

Constable Gnech said the attack was clearly deliberate and at the more "serious end of the scale''.

Magistrate Brownyn Springer, who had adjourned the case for a few hours to consider her decision, said that if Hazel was responsible, it would have been "alarming and extremely frightening'' for the victim.

Defence solicitor Nici Schmitt said that while the events were of a serious nature, Hazel has no criminal history and was therefore not a risk of failing to appear.

She said his defacto was prepared to offer a $50,000 surety to ensure Hazel appeared.

Ms Schmitt said Hazel had an "otherwise impeccable character'' and would be at risk of losing his earthmoving business, which he runs with his defacto, if he was in custody and unable to work.

She said Hazel had ties to Central Queensland, as his business was on a long-term contract at Gogango that looked set to be extended for another year.

Constable Gnech argued that the address for Hazel's business was a New South Wales post box and he believed Hazel was a flight risk.

Hazel was bailed on the condition he continue to live at the Gracemere Caravan Park, report to police six days a week, not travel anywhere south of Gympie (as witnesses and the victim live in Brisbane), not leave Queensland and that the $50,000 surety be provided.

He will appear in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on February 27.



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