Woman held hostage over drug debt
A judge has described a Townsville mum holding a woman hostage for five hours and demanding money from her family as like a B-grade movie plot.
Cassandra Jane Buckley had her life on track, defence barrister Michael Hibble told the Townsville District Court yesterday.
She had studied at university, started a family and gained full-time employment. But when her relationship with her husband broke down, her life descended into chaos.
Unable to see her twin boy and girl, Buckley began using drugs to soothe her pain.
The court heard that on April 27 last year, 26-year-old Buckley took a pointed metal bar to a Condon house where the victim was staying and threatened her. Buckley and an unknown man took the victim to a Hermit Park house, Judge Gregory Lynham told the court, reading police facts.
Buckley wouldn't let the woman leave until her family forked out $3600 to return the money and drugs she thought the victim and her former husband had stolen.
She pleaded guilty in Townsville District Court yesterday to charges including deprivation of liberty and demanding property with menace.
The court heard the victim and her ex-husband visited Buckley's house that morning, purchasing drugs and leaving a short time later.
But Buckley then texted the woman's former husband, claiming they had stolen drugs and money from her. The court heard Buckley took the woman captive and held her for more than five hours.
The 26-year-old sent text messages to the woman's former husband, demanding money in exchange for the hostage's freedom.
Mr Hibble said her offending was just "madness".
"She is a person, who prior to all of this breakdown in her relationship, she was living a normal life," he said. "Everything went south."
Mr Lynham said the story sounded like a film plot.
"How you could have conceived that seeking to take the complainant into your care and deprive her of her liberty, to use effectively as a means of trying to gain back money and drugs you perceived that (her) ex-husband had taken from you, in one sense beggars belief," he said.
Mr Lynham sentenced Buckley to 18 months with a parole release date yesterday. She had served 278 days in pre-sentence custody.