A Melbourne tradie broke into his boss’s home, tied up his wife and stole their two young children to “teach him a lesson”, a court has been told.
Jiangang Ji told police the day after his arrest that he regretted his actions but had snapped under constant bullying, his trial in Victoria’s County Court was told on Monday.
“(I did it) because I really hate him and want to teach him a lesson,” Mr Ji was quoted as saying through a Mandarin interpreter.
“As soon as I did it, I regret what I have done and I realise how serious kidnapping kids (was).”
The trial was told Mr Ji had worked as a plasterer under the man for two years and claimed he was subject to verbal abuse and psychological pressure.
Mr Ji, who has pleaded guilty to kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated burglary and car theft, broke into his boss’s home in the early hours of August 23, 2021, after the man had left for work.
Jiangang Ji, then 36, has pleaded guilty to kidnapping two children from a home in Blackburn North. Picture: Supplied
He was armed with a knife and used duct tape to restrain the wife’s wrists and ankles before covering her mouth and eyes, prosecutor Kristie Churchill said.
“You could imagine the sheer terror of being confronted by a strange man in the early hours of the morning … gagged and restrained,” she said in her closing remarks.
Mr Ji left her at the home, placing their two young children in the boot of the family’s Mercedes-Benz and driving to his home in Mitcham.
During his record of interview, he told police he “liked” the children and cooked them eggs and gave them snacks.
Police were alerted after the woman, still restrained, managed to leave her home and flag down passersby.
The court was told Mr Ji admitted to making a demand for a ransom during his interview but claimed it was only to “scare” his boss.
“Give me $1m, I’ll give the kids back, otherwise I’ll destroy the car and the kids,” he said.
Mr Ji was arrested at his Mitcham home after trying to move the Mercedes-Benz with the kids in the back. Picture: Supplied.
Just after 7pm, about 12 hours after the children were abducted, Mr Ji was arrested at his home while loading them back into the car.
He told police he was going to drop them at a location and called their parents with directions.
Shortly after 1pm on Monday, Judge Gabriele Cannon told the jury to retire and reach their verdicts.
The jury will decide on three charges Mr Ji has pleaded not guilty to, including the alleged common assault of his boss’s wife.
It’s alleged while she was tied up, Mr Ji applied force with the knife to her stomach, a charge he denies.
Doctors allegedly discovered an 11.5cm “abrasion” to her stomach, which Mr Ji’s barrister Carmela Pezzimenti has contended could have resulted from causes other than the knife.
“Nothing has been held back; he’s not tried to shy from his choices,” she said during her closing remarks.
“(He’s pleaded not guilty) for one reason and one reason alone, because he did not commit these offences.”
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