Girl, 17, was held by pair, court told

RUTHERGLEN man Paul Boss was sentenced to eight months in jail yesterday after pleading guilty to the false imprisonment of a 17-year-old girl.

But Boss, 45, walked free from the Wodonga Magistrates’ Court, having been on remand in custody for about nine months over the May 15 incident.

Meanwhile, his co-accused, his stepson Troy Devine, 18, has pleaded not guilty and will face trial at the Wangaratta County Court on March 4.

The court previously had heard of arson at a Wodonga house where a witness to car break-ins lived.

A sister of the witness, 17, was asked by Troy Devine to go to Rutherglen on May 15 with the assurance nothing would happen and Boss was away.

She and a man, 25, met Devine at the Rutherglen Golf Club about 10.30pm but Boss appeared, demanded the pair’s mobile phones and car keys and told them to get in the car.

The court heard yesterday the teenager was questioned about the whereabouts of her brother.

The pair were taken to a dirt track behind Rutherglen High School before Devine drove the couple back to Albury.

Devine, the teenager and the 25-year-old stopped in Wahgunyah where Devine and the man allegedly unsuccessfully tried to steal fuel from a BMW.

Devine then crashed the car while driving towards Rutherglen.

The vehicle was set on fire and police found the trio walking down a street nearby.

Boss’ barrister Diana Price said there were more “serious” examples of false imprisonment and no weapon was used in the May 15 incident.

She said Boss had already served his time in prison.

Boss had become “overly involved” in the affairs of his stepson and his stepson’s friends.

He wanted to get back into regular and paid employment and while he had several appearances in NSW children’s courts, his offending during the past 10 years had diminished.

She said his last offences included a 2010 burglary and theft from a Wodonga business and a theft charge in October 2011.

Magistrate Susan Armour said although a weapon was not used, false imprisonment was a serious offence.

“It’s something that needs to be punished,” she said.

Devine, on bail and also present in yesterday’s proceedings, pleaded not guilty to the charges of false imprisonment, reckless conduct endangering life, criminal damage by fire and attempted theft.