Launceston Supreme Court hears accused sought advice on $40,000 transfer

One of six people accused of kidnapping a Victorian man asked for tips on how to transfer a “large amount of money” during the three days the man was allegedly held at gunpoint, a jury has heard.

Witness Mollie Bantick took the stand on Monday, telling the court she lived with defendant Malcolm Joshua Mayne’s brother at the time of the alleged kidnapping in February, 2015.

She told the court Mr Mayne was at her home on February 12, with the kidnapping allegedly taking place between February 11 and February 13.

The court heard Ms Bantick worked at the Commonwealth Bank at the time and Mr Mayne had asked her how to complete a bank transfer online and how to increase a withdrawal limit.

She said she was taken inside a shed in the backyard of the property where she was asked to log into a man’s account. After leaving the house and going to work, she said she received a call from Mr Mayne who asked how to transfer a large amount of money –which she believed was $40,000.

Mr Mayne is charged alongside Caine Robert Richardson, Sean Gregory Richardson, Christopher John Humphreys, Matthew Luke William and Carly Ann Dekkers.

All six have been accused of kidnapping Anthony Mekhael, who was allegedly robbed, assaulted and asked to pay $150,000. 

While Ms Bantick told the court she saw some of the accused at the time of the alleged crimes, she agreed with defence lawyer Evan Hughes that there was “nothing unusual” about her interaction with them.

The court heard Ms Bantick did not report the matter to police until days later when she read a news story about the alleged incident.

“There was nothing unusual about the whole thing as far as you were concerned, until the police became involved,” Mr Hughes suggested.

“That’s correct,” she replied.

Mr Mekhael gave evidence throughout the beginning of the trial but maintained he had no memory of 2015 due to “heavy” drug use.

On Monday, however, a Tasmania Police detective told the court Mr Mekhael did not appear to be under the influence during police interviews in 2015. Detective Constable Matthew Knight told the court police would not proceed with an interview if the person appeared to be heavily intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

The trial before Justice Robert Pearce is expected to continue on Tuesday.

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