Father, son jailed for attack on boy
A 16-year-old boy was bound to a tree and assaulted for more than an hour in a 'terrifying' ordeal over a false accusation that he had raped a girl.
The father and son from Tannum Sands were sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison, suspended after nine months, after "kidnapping'' and assaulting the Tannum Sands schoolboy in September last year.
Peter Clive Thomas, 41, and Daniel Aaron Thomas, 21, pleaded guilty in Gladstone District Court on Thursday to deprivation of liberty; assault occasioning bodily harm while in company; and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm.
Crown Prosecutor Vicki Loury said the Tannum Sands State High School student, aged 16 at the time of the offence, had sexual intercourse with a girl on August 16 last year who had then told Peter Thomas she had been raped.
Daniel Thomas then visited the house of the schoolboy, under the pretence that he wanted to start a band, and arranged to meet him on September 2 last year, when the offences took place.
Crown Prosecutor Vicki Loury said upon arriving at the school, Daniel Thomas opened the passenger door and told the boy to get in the car or he would kill him, grabbing his shirt and pulling him into the vehicle.
She said Daniel Thomas then drove about one kilometre into bushland behind the school where he picked up Peter Thomas and they continued further into bushland.
They then stopped near a creek and Daniel Thomas punched the boy in the face and slammed his head into the side of the vehicle.
The boy was then bound to a tree where Daniel Thomas continued to threaten and assault him, telling him:'If you try to make a run for it I'll kill you'.
Peter Thomas, who had been watching his son bound and threaten the boy, then drove away from the scene, returning with the girl who had accused the schoolboy of rape, saying to her: ' It's up to you if we shoot him or not.'
He then threatened the boy, before leaving the scene with the girl and his son, leaving the schoolboy to walk back to the school.
When questioned by police, the Crown Prosecutor said Peter Thomas showed no signs of remorse and believed what he had done was the right and 'honourable' thing to do.
The Crown Prosecutor described it as a "deliberate and calculated attack'..
'This may be seen as a vigilante attack, but neither defendant has made any attempt to ascertain the truth and shown no remorse for committing the offences,' she said.
Defence lawyer Rennie Anderson said both Peter and Daniel Thomas had 'good character' and the offences were committed on the basis of the information provided to them by the girl.
He said while the information was 'wrongly and improperly acted upon' it had been in an attempt to gain retribution for the girl, who was said to share a "father-daughter'' relationship with Peter Thomas.
Judge G. Forno said this was a 'bad example of what has been called vigilante acts' and the pair had acted on information of a false accusation made by a young girl that she had been raped.
'This was a premeditated and calculated kidnapping, in effect, by way of subterfuge,' Judge Forno said.
Judge Forno said the experience would have been 'terrifying' for the schoolboy and although the injuries sustained were not of a serious nature, the psychological damage to him was irreparable.