Tasmanian man faked own kidnapping

Ethan James

A Tasmanian man's "amateurish" plan to con money from an associate by claiming he'd been kidnapped came unstuck when his bank account details were recognised.

Nicholas Michael Butcher, 35, has been slapped with a six-month suspended jail term after being convicted of blackmail over the 2018 ruse.

Butcher sent a text message to another man claiming he was being held hostage and would have his fingers cut off unless $4000 was transferred into a bank account.

But the bank details Butcher sent were his own.

After looking at his records, the man recognised the account which he had previously transferred money to.

"Although the man was initially concerned by the message, quite understandably, it did not take him long to identify the message as a ruse," Supreme Court Justice Michael Brett said during sentencing this week.

Justice Brett said Butcher's unusual crime took advantage of the man's previous generosity and diverted police resources unnecessarily.

Butcher, who was found guilty earlier this year, told the court during his trial he had been kidnapped by drug associates who sent the text message and made the demands.

"There were no men, you were not kidnapped and this was a ruse by you to gain money," Justice Brett concluded.

"The amateurish nature of your plan meant that was never any real possibility that you would gain what you were seeking."

Butcher has been placed on a good-behaviour bond for 18 months.