Posted on: Nov 10, 2020, 2:59 AM.
Last update on: November 10, 2020, 04:52 a.m.
A kidnapper who abducted a 12-year-old boy from the streets in an attempt to recover A $ 5.5 million (US $ 4 million) gambling debt from the boy’s father apologized to his victim as he ‘he was sentenced to seven years in prison on Tuesday.
The Australian ABC reports that Zhen Jie “Kenny” Zhang, 55, told the boy that he was “deeply sorry” for the ordeal he subjected him to on May 11 and 12, 2018 when he left. took him in his jeep outside his home on the Australian Gold Coast. .
Zhang kept the boy prisoner for 16 hours, during which time a mask was attached to his face. After repeatedly trying to escape, a towel was stuck in her mouth and her head was tied to a car seat.
Prosecutors said the boy was only given water twice and was allowed to urinate once during his time in captivity. Photographs of the boy in this condition, described by prosecutors as “disturbing”, were shown in court.
A text message was sent to his parents: “Be careful… wait until you get the body. “
The boy was found by police in the back of the car 150 miles from where he was abducted after a tip from a member of the public.
“If you are afraid, please forgive me for that; your father was acting terribly [and]owed me a substantial sum of money, ”the kidnapper told the boy in court through a Mandarin interpreter. “I felt like I had no other option.”
I put you in the car without your permission. For the next few hours, I had no intention of doing anything malicious to you, ”he added.
Previously, the court heard how Zhang, a former Chinese army soldier, met the boy’s father in 2010 and the two had become play friends. But things quickly deteriorated after Zhang loaned him. the money, and he started harassing the family to get it back.
” Like friends “
Defense attorney Alastair McDougall said Zhang had become “desperate” to get the money back because he had to pay for his mother’s medical bills. Her client had no criminal history and was otherwise of good character, McDougall added.
In a victim impact statement, the boy’s mother said her son was no longer lucky. He was now a “sad, scared and miserable” child who hid under the table whenever dark cars passed.
“We got along really well, just like good friends. I didn’t expect it to be such a serious consequence, ”Zhang said in her statement. ” Everything is my fault. It is the most difficult lesson I have ever learned in my entire life.