Marc Veronese.
Marc Veronese.

'Weapons and violence seem to come hand in blood'

WHAT began as a deal hatched between two criminals, ended in a man being tortured in remote Far North Queensland bush.

The sordid allegations of a gangland-type retribution have been revealed in the Cairns Supreme Court as Melchor Restauro Garcia pleaded guilty to a raft of charges including the torture and kidnapping of Maitland Chitty in February last year.

Garcia and Mr Chitty had organised a trade - methylamphetamines for guns.

Mr Chitty was given the drugs, but failed to come up with the weapons. So he formed a plan to clear his drug debt.

But after two failed attempts to steal handguns on February 26, Mr Chitty and his mate Dean Guest were taken to Garcia.

What happened next was like something from a movie.


Maitland Chitty leaves Cairns courthouse after giving evidence during a committal hearing for Kody Schieber.
Maitland Chitty leaves Cairns courthouse after giving evidence during a committal hearing for Kody Schieber.

The Crown alleges the pair was driven around for two hours by Garcia, Aaron Lions and Jacob Butler before being taken to a shipping container at a remote Kuranda property.

Crown Prosecutor Nicole Friedewald said sheets or pillowcases were placed over their heads and Mr Chitty was tied to a crossbeam inside the shipping container.

"Chitty's hands were tied behind his back," Ms Friedewald said.

"And a noose connected to that beam was wrapped around his neck."

Melchor Garcia.
Melchor Garcia.

Mr Chitty was forced to stand on his toes to prevent choking.

He was assaulted multiple times with various weapons including an axe handle and a piece of wood; he was stabbed twice in the arm. Garcia kicked, kneed and punched him, threatened to cut off his toes and choked him until he gagged.

Mr Lions allegedly also joined in the assault. Mr Guest was made to watch the ongoing torture.

Still bound, Mr Chitty and Mr Guest were then taken to Marc Veronese's Edge Hill home where Mr Guest was released.


Earlville man Jacob Butler.
Earlville man Jacob Butler.

Police claim Mr Chitty, still bound and gagged, was driven around before being forced into Kody Schieber's car and driven along Black Mountain Rd to bushland at Mona Mona.

"Mr Chitty was forced to swallow five pills with Garcia telling him four were sleeping pills and one was Panadol," Ms Friedewald said.

Another hangman's noose was placed around his neck and, his hands and feet bound, he was tied to a tree and left there for dead.

The court was told that Mr Chitty managed to get lose and walk to safety, arriving at Hartleys Crocodile Adventures on February 29.

Justice James Henry described it as extraordinary gangland criminality that was inevitably linked to ice use.

"Weapons and violence seem to come hand in blood with a lot of offenders that get involved in that," he said.

"You can't behave like you're living life in a TV show."

Defence barrister Stephanie Williams described her clients swift decent into lawlessness.

Violence had been normalised for Garcia. He was expelled from high school and his drug use flowed from an inability to cope after he split with the mother of his son.

Ms Williams said Garcia had been on a meth bender for two weeks at the time of the offending.

Since his arrest on February 29, Garcia had been on good behaviour in remand and held continuous work.

Matters against Garcia have been adjourned to a later date for sentence.

Co-accused Kody Schieber is expected to be sentenced today.

News Corp Australia

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