Appeal on kidnap jail term fails

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 18:08 16/07/2014

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A Hamilton woman has failed in her bid to have her sentence reduced after being jailed for her part in the kidnapping and assault of an Auckland woman.

Linda May Budd, 39, was jailed for two and a half years when she appeared in the High Court in Hamilton in April.

Budd was earlier found guilty of kidnapping the woman, who was blindfolded and hogtied in the shed of the home Budd shared with her partner, Lance Urick McGee.

McGee acted as the "muscle" and his co-offender, John Martin, who was jailed for two years and nine months, drove to Auckland and kidnapped the woman.

They drove her back to McGee and Budd's Nawton house, where the men put her in the garage, tied her neck, arms and legs up and blindfolded her. They had demanded a $30,000 ransom - $20,000 for a drug debt and a further $10,000 for their "fee".

Another accomplice, Jaedyn Kaka, who was 19 at the time, was told to watch the woman. Martin and McGee then drove back to Auckland so McGee could attend a methamphetamine-withdrawal course run especially for members of the Mongrel Mob.

McGee was found guilty on two charges of kidnapping and sentenced to five years' prison.

Justice Timothy Brewer took six months off their sentences after McGee and Budd's baby died in CYF care while they were in prison on remand awaiting trial.

In his bid to the Court of Appeal, Budd's lawyer Tom Sutcliffe said Justice Brewer's starting point was too high and should have been more in line with Kaka, who ended up with a home detention sentence for his part.

However, the Court of Appeal dismissed Sutcliffe's argument, saying it was only six months higher than Kaka and Budd had more of a controlling role during the victim's time tied up in the shed.

''This was a serious crime ... clearly a higher starting point was justified for the [Budd], aged 37 at the time of the offending, whose conduct was more serious.''

The court also noted that the six-month deduction on compassionate grounds was also appropriate.

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- Waikato Times

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