Man shot in testicles with gel blaster over ‘debt’

 

A Queensland man endured a "protracted episode of weaponised violence" when he was hit with a tyre iron, shot in the testicles with a gel blaster and electrocuted over a perceived debt he owed.

Disturbing details of the violence visited upon the victim were revealed at Brisbane District Court on Tuesday as Mark Donald McDonald and Helene Irene Wigfull faced their sentencing hearing for a raft of serious charges.

Even after the vicious assault, naked photographs of the complainant were sent to his family with a demand for thousands of dollars.

Helene Irene Wigfull faced a sentence hearing on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Helene Irene Wigfull faced a sentence hearing on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Family supporters filled out the public gallery as McDonald and Wigfull pleaded guilty to charges of deprivation of liberty, common assault and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed.

McDonald also pleaded guilty to charges of extortion, possessing a relevant substance and additional counts of common assault and assault occasioning bodily harm while armed.

Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker said McDonald and Wigfull targeted the complainant on July 31 last year over the perception he had stolen from them.

The court was told on July 31 last year, the complainant was taken into a car, being driven by Wigfull waiting at the end of a friend's driveway.

Child locks were engaged to prevent the victim from escaping.

McDonald, who was armed with a tyre iron, assaulted the complainant as he was driven to the pair's Darra home.

In the house's granny flat, the complainant was assaulted and interrogated over a protracted time.

The court was told Wigfull (centre) was not the driving force of the violence. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
The court was told Wigfull (centre) was not the driving force of the violence. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

 

Ms Baker said "cruel" methods were used to inflict violence on the victim, who was shot with a gel blaster in his testicles and face and zapped on his arms and legs with a cattle prod.

"McDonald was the driving force of violence. Wigfull was present periodically, encouraging her husband," Ms Baker said.

A photo of the complainant lying naked on the floor was sent to his father, while McDonald demanded $5000 from him.

Police were called and found the complainant under a pile of pillows the next morning, still unclothed.

The weapons and about 25g of the drug Gamma Butyrolactone (GBL) was also discovered.

Ms Baker said the pair attempted to downplay and minimise their roles in the offending when interviewed by police.

"This was a frightening experience for all involved, which included the complainant and his family receiving those demands and (the) photo," Ms Baker said.

Wigfull told police she thought the complainant had ripped her off and admitted to using methylamphetamine the night before.

Ms Baker said McDonald had committed the offences while on a number of bail orders.

Wigfull's defence barrister, Kate Juhasz, said her client was not the central perpetrator of the violence, going in and out during the prolonged offence.

"She didn't actually subject the complainant herself to any violence," Ms Juhasz said.

"Immediately after she observed the assault to the complainant's head by her husband, she provided first aid.

"She was not present for the more abhorrent offending with the gel blaster, nor the cattle prod."

She said Wigfull had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from her previous employment at a funeral parlour, where she frequently saw the bodies of young children.

Since the offending, Wigfull and McDonald had separated.

McDonald's defence barrister, Scott Lynch, submitted his client had been a "model prisoner" while in pre-sentence custody and had sought out multiple prison courses to "improve his standing upon release".

He said his client wanted to reunite with his family upon release.

Judge Gary Long adjourned the sentencing until Friday.

Wigfull's bail was continued while McDonald was remanded in custody.

Originally published as Man shot in testicles with gel blaster over 'debt'


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