‘Victim’ denies texting

AN alleged kidnapping victim yesterday denied sending a text message to an Albury man accused of taking him against his will despite conceding its contents were accurate.

Giving evidence in the trial of William Alex Gardner, 32, in Wagga District Court yesterday, Steine Boland, denied sending a text to Gardner which contained specific information about Mr Boland.

It included the fact Mr Boland had been “done” by police for traffic offences while driving from Albury to Wagga and also his intention to drive back to Albury.

Gardner’s lawyer, Michael King, put it to Mr Boland that he sent the message, but he rejected the suggestion.

He said his phone was on a charger in another room when the message was sent and the word “morning” was spelled differently to how he would spell it.

“It does not make a lot of sense does it ... it does not sound very believable does it?” Mr King asked Mr Boland.

On Tuesday, Mr King had told the jury Mr Boland had lied about being kidnapped by Gardner.

Gardner has pleaded not guilty to take/detain in company with intent to get an advantage occasioning actual bodily harm.

The Crown alleges Gardner was one of four men who took Mr Boland from a Wagga flat early on July 6, 2012.

It is alleged Mr Boland was put into the back seat of a car Gardner drove towards Albury with the intention of obtaining money from him.

Mr Boland told the jury he was punched and elbowed in the face in the car, suffered bruising, a split lip and a black eye.

He had asked Gardner to tell the men to stop hitting him.

“I said ‘Will, can you tell them to stop hitting me in the face?’,” Mr Boland said.

“Did he do anything?” Crown advocate Brendan Queenan asked.

“No, he did not,” Mr Boland said.

“So, you are saying he ignored you,” Mr Queenan said.

“Yes, he did,” Mr Boland replied.

The trial continues today.