Top cop's son gets 'merciful' sentence after kidnapping

Last updated 11:33 19/07/2012

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The son of a senior police officer, who kidnapped and assaulted his ex-girlfriend in a cross-country mission on Valentines Day, has been sentenced to a ''merciful'' six months' community detention.

Ryan Mathew Bielby, 20,  appeared in Rotorua District Court this morning.

He is the son of Senior Sergeant Ross Bielby, the officer in charge of the Tauranga police station.

Ryan Bielby pleaded guilty in Taupo District Court in April to four counts of kidnap, assault, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.

Today, Judge Phillip Cooper called the sentence "a pretty merciful one".

On February 14, Bielby drove to Papamoa on the premise of returning a bag to his ex-girlfriend.

The victim said Bielby snapped when she tried to get out of his car, after they spent an hour visiting mutual friends in Mount Maunganui.

As she tried to exit his vehicle, he pulled her back into the car by the wrists, grabbing a bracelet chain for leverage, cutting her wrist.

During the ensuing struggle in the car, as Bielby begun to drive down the street, he bit the victim on the back.

The young woman said she had no reason to fear Bielby before their Valentines Day encounter. But that changed the moment he abducted her and raced from police at speeds exceeding 170kmh.

Police became aware of the kidnapping after the girl, ''upset and crying'', managed to text a friend. The police called her phone after being alerted by the friend, but after she said where the car was travelling, Bielby took the phone from her and refused to return it.

About an hour later, Bielby's Honda Intergra was clocked speeding at 116kmh.

Court documents state that, upon seeing the police car's flashing lights, Bielby raced away and the pursuit was called off when his vehicle reached 152kmh.

An hour later his car was spotted on State Highway 32 - the Western Bays Highway on the west side of Lake Taupo - and police again activated their blue and red lights.

Bielby performed a U-turn and took off speeding, but he failed to take a corner and crashed through a fence into a paddock.

''He continued to drive about 200 metres through a farm paddock and then down a deep gully where the vehicle became stuck. He was then apprehended by police,'' the police summary stated.

The victim impact report indicated the young woman had been terrified, Judge Cooper said.

He noted Bielby, who had previous convictions for careless driving and assault, showed little sympathy for his victim.

Since being released from police custody in March he had been working as a blocklayer from his bail address in Waikanae.

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Judge Cooper said he had also formed a new relationship.

He gave Bielby credit for his early guilty pleas to kidnapping and assault charges.

In addition to the community detention, Bielby was to undertake 300 hours' community work and be under supervision for 12 months.

His community detention would see him confined to a home in Waikanae from 7pm-6.30am. He also had to attend non-violence counselling and a Corrections Department intervention programme.

He was forbidden from associating with his victim unless his probation officer allowed contact, and was disqualified from driving for a year.

Defence counsel, Ian Farquhar, said Bielby was trying to get his life back on track and his remorse was genuine.

If he was sentenced to home detention, it was likely he would become something of a "caged lion", he said.

- The Dominion Post

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