‘End of his tether’: Man stole boss’s kids
A plasterer who kidnapped his boss’s children and then demanded $1m for their safe return did so out of his “hatred” for the man, a court has heard.
Jiangang Ji is facing trial in the County Court of Victoria on three charges including the alleged common assault of his employer’s wife.
The jury heard Mr Ji has already pleaded guilty to five charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated burglary and car theft, but denies the other allegations.
On Friday both prosecutor Kristie Churchill and defence barrister Carmela Pezzimenti delivered their closing remarks after the trial was delayed due to illness.
“You could imagine the sheer terror of being confronted by a strange man in the early hours of the morning … gagged and restrained,” Ms Churchill said.
“Whatever the emotion or reason for this … he was wound up in his hatred.”
The court has heard Mr Ji broke into the couple’s Blackburn North home in the early hours of the morning of August 23, 2021.
He waited outside for his boss to leave for work before entering the house armed with a knife and restrained the wife before kidnapping their two young children.
Ms Pezzimenti said her client was remorseful for the offending and had taken responsibility, but that the three other alleged offences, which include the common assault charge, did not happen.
“Nothing has been held back; he’s not tried to shy from his choices,” she said.
“(He’s pleaded not guilty) for one reason and one reason alone, because he did not commit these offences.”
She read from the transcript from his police interview, where Mr Ji said the incident happened in the “heat of the moment”.
“I went to the house and kidnapped the children and I’m very remorseful,” he told police.
“As soon as I did it I was regretful … I want to send them back.”
She said the prosecution had not challenged his explanation for the offending, which Mr Ji said came after two years of constant verbal abuse and “psychological pressure” from his boss.
“He had reached the end of his tether and made the terrible decision to scare the man who had been the source of his psychological pain for two years,” she said.
“This was all about the threat.”
Judge Gabriele Cannon told the jury they would be called to retire and reach a verdict on Monday.