Bombshell claims made about Stuart MacGill over alleged kidnapping
A lawyer for two brothers accused of being hired “muscle” in the alleged kidnapping of Stuart MacGill has told a court that the cricketing great was a regular cocaine user and “actively” involved in a drug deal central to the case.
Richard and Frederick Schaaf are awaiting trial over the alleged abduction of Mr MacGill from outside his home on Sydney’s lower north shore last year.
The pair on Monday appeared before the Supreme Court in an effort to be bailed while they fight the charges.
Their barrister attacked Mr MacGill’s credibility, arguing that he went willingly with a group of men to an abandoned house in southwestern Sydney and said there was no physical evidence that he had been brutally assaulted.
The pair have pleaded not guilty to charges of take/detain in company with intent to obtain advantage, with the matter expected to go to trial mid next year.
They were arrested along with four other men, including Mr MacGill’s de facto brother-in-law Marino Sotiropoulos, after the former Test spinner alleged that he was taken to a Bringelly property.
He has claimed that he was threatened with a gun, assaulted and demands were made for money over a drug deal gone wrong.
The court was told on Monday that Mr MacGill allegedly introduced Mr Sotiropoulos – the brother of his partner Maria O’Meagher – to a cocaine dealer.
Mr Sotiropoulos has since been charged with supply of a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and will stand trial alongside the Schaaf brothers.
Mr MacGill alleges that a group of men forced him into a car outside his home and confronted him after the drug deal ended in a “rip off”.
The two men watched from Bathurst Correctional Centre on Monday as their barrister Avni Djemal argued they should be released on bail ahead of a trial next year.
Mr Djemal said there was evidence that Mr MacGill had willingly participated in a meeting at the Bringelly house and agreed to look at photos in a bid to identify the drug dealer.
Mr Djemal said Mr MacGill was released at Belmore and allowed to get into a cab.
“The evidence implicates Mr MacGill to a high level. I’m surprised he’s not charged with the actual drug transaction that he says, in his evidence, ‘I had nothing more to do with it, I just introduced the brother-in-law, Mr Sotiropoulos, to a person who I knew used to sell drugs’,” Mr Djemal said.
“The gentleman, now a registered source, he says that this gentleman, MacGill, was an avid user of cocaine and said to be on it all the time or drunk or desperate for money.”
Mr Djemal further told the court that Mr MacGill had an “active” role in negotiating the weight of the drugs involved in the deal to the point that the dealer had offered him a gift because he “put this deal together”.
He further said there was no evidence to support Mr MacGill’s assertions that he had been punched to the front and back of his head, knocked to the ground and suffered a concussion.
Mr Djemal said the only evidence of any injuries was Ms O’Meagher saying she felt a lump on Mr MacGill’s head.
“He doesn’t have one physical injury after those events,” Mr Djemal said.
“If the hits to the front of your face have produced no lumps and you say the onslaught was to the front, the side, knocked you to the ground, how could that be?
“How could his word be that there was a kidnapping? What if he went, saw photos and got brought back?”
Mr Djemal argued that Frederick Schaaf should be released so he could undergo dental treatment because he was at risk of losing his teeth.
The hearing before Justice Richard Button continues.