Launceston jury hears accused kidnapper 'helped' his alleged victim

A man on trial for kidnapping has told the jury he was at home with his daughter on the day he allegedly took a man hostage.

Caine Robert Richardson, 28, has been accused of taking Victorian man Anthony Mekhael at gunpoint and keeping him captive for three days in 2015.

It has been alleged the kidnapping was over a drug debt and five others were involved.

Mr Caine Richardson’s former girlfriend Carly Ann Dekkers and his brother Sean Gregory Richardson are also on trial as well as Malcolm Joshua Mayne, Matthew Luke Williams and Christopher John Humphreys.

The Richardson brothers are accused of kidnapping Mr Mekhael on Wednesday February 11, 2015 by pointing a gun at him in Launceston and telling him to get into a car. On Friday, Mr Caine Richardson told the court he had seen Mr Mekhael in February that year, but did not kidnap him.

He told the jury he spent that Wednesday with his young daughter and his girlfriend at the time, Ms Dekkers.

The court heard Mr Mekhael had contacted Mr Caine Richardson for help and that he owed money to “Lebanese men”.

Across the three days Mr Mekhael was allegedly held against his will, Mr Caine Richardson said the pair had injected ice together and had traveled to Port Sorell to look for “drugs, money and possible guns” buried under the ground. Crown Prosecutor Peter Sheriff instead suggested Mr Caine Richardson and his co-accused Mr Mayne forced Mr Mekhael to go to Port Sorell where they allegedly assaulted him.

“It’s the case isn’t it that you fired a hand gun in the direction of Mr Mekhael?” he asked.

“No I did not,” Mr Caine Richardson replied.

Mr Caine Richardson had told the court Mr Mekhael was the one with the gun at Port Sorell and it was during a struggle between the two that shots were fired.

“Mr Mekhael at no time had possession of the gun,” Mr Sheriff suggested.

“That is not true, I already told you,” Mr Caine Richardson said.

When Mr Sheriff suggested the accused had assaulted Mr Mekhael during the alleged kidnapping he said “I’m sick of you inferring that”. Mr Caine Richardson claimed he had “never assaulted him in my life”.

The trial before Justice Robert Pearce will continue into its fourth week on Monday with the Crown expected to make closing statements.