A Bellambi man who bit part of another man’s ear off during a violent kidnapping incident has been jailed for 10 years.
Simon De Wet, 37, organised to have the male victim abducted from his mother’s house on the evening of July 25, 2012 over an alleged unpaid debt and his refusal to sell drugs for De Wet.
The group responsible for the kidnapping – friends of De Wet’s – took the man to an area near Bellambi swimming pool, where they were met by De Wet.
He was then viciously and repeatedly assaulted, before, in a final act of savagery, De Wet bit off part of his right ear.
Sentencing De Wet on Wednesday, Wollongong District Court judge Paul Conlon said his actions involved ‘‘gratuitous cruelty’’ that would have caused considerable suffering to the victim during the assault and no doubt ongoing psychological injury.
‘‘The victim had absolutely no chance of escape and he had done absolutely nothing to warrant the savage beating meted out to him by this offender,’’ Judge Conlon said.
He rejected suggestions by De Wet’s lawyer that the planning of the attack was ‘‘unsophisticated and not elaborate’’, saying on the evidence before the court there was ‘‘considerable planning’’ involving De Wet first ascertaining the victim’s whereabouts and then dispatching the appropriate ‘‘muscle’’ to abduct him.
‘‘It is clear the offender was the ringleader delivering orders to the co-offenders,’’ Judge Conlon said.
‘‘Objectively, this is an example of extremely serious offending conduct.’’
Judge Conlon slammed De Wet’s initial lack of remorse, as well as he own ‘‘watered down’’ explanation to a psychiatrist about his behaviour.
However, he acknowledged that since being in custody on remand, De Wet had sought medical help and indicated he wanted to participate in anger management and drug treatment programs, in a bid to permanently kick his addiction to Xanax and crystal meth.
‘‘I am satisfied he is clearly a different person now ... I am of the view he has good prospects of rehabilitation,’’ Judge Conlon said.
He sentenced De Wet to a non-parole period of seven years.
With time already served, De Wet will be eligible to apply for parole in August 2019.
One of De Wet’s co-offenders, Joel Ropiha, was also sentenced on Wednesday to a minimum of five years behind bars for the same incident