Accused teacher kidnapper’s remorse over bizarre tragedy
A THIRD person charged with kidnapping and bashing Brisbane private schoolteacher Anthony Stott before he was run down and killed by a semi-trailer was 'haunted' and 'sickened' by the bizarre tragedy, a court has been told.
Craig Arthur Button, 49, faced Tweed Heads Local Court today after handing himself in to police and was granted bail on strict conditions.
The rigger from Maroondan, west of Bundaberg, joined northern NSW vegetable farmers Mark Frost, 46, and Lauren Grainger, 39, in being charged with detaining and assaulting Mr Stott with intent to obtain advantage.
The popular French teacher at St Peters Lutheran College at Springfield was allegedly held captive at a Cudgera Creek farm owned by Frost and Grainger for up to six-and-half hours on Monday last week.
Police allege Mr Stott was tied to a chair in a farm shed and beaten with a golf club.
Mr Stott then ran into the path of the semi on the Pacific Highway after either escaping the property or being released by his captors, police have alleged.
He had just returned from a trip to Peru and his silver BMW was found abandoned in the middle of the M1 before he was allegedly held captive by Frost, Grainger and Button.
During a failed bail bid by Grainger on Monday, Tweed Heads Local Court heard mobile phones photos were taken of a 'distressed' Mr Stott tied to the chair by his arms and neck.
Grainger and Frost claimed Mr Stott entered their northern NSW farm armed with a knife and they tied him up and assaulted him to force a confession, according to court documents.
Frost and Grainger were both denied bail after a magistrate ruled they might interfere with the recovery of missing evidence, including the chair and rope.
Prosecutor Bill Chaffey told the court that police suspected Button was involved in disposing of evidence including the chair and was a risk of interfering with witnesses.
Sergeant Chaffey said Button only became remorseful and went to police after being questioned by family.
He said Button had witnessed Mr Stott's death but defence solicitor Phil Mulherin strongly disputed this.
He said Mr Stott had left the property and was killed five minutes after he was out of sight of Button, who was 'certainly sickened by it'.
"He is also a person who is haunted by this matter since it occurred," Mr Mulherin said.
Mr Mulherin said Button was friends with Frost and Grainger and was staying at their property.
Frost had woken him to say there was an intruder at the property, who was "incoherent and without shoes", Mr Mulherin told the court.
He said Button admitted that Mr Stott was tied to the chair and hit with a golf club but was 'not terribly beaten' when he was released the next morning.
Button was granted bail on condition he surrender his passport, report four times a week to police and not contact Frost, Grainger or other witnesses.