A PROMINENT Hamilton master jeweller has admitted luring a clockmaker into a back room of his shop before four unknown thugs bashed, robbed and kidnapped him over a debt.
Peter Edward Charles Williams, of Williams Jewellers on Beaumont Street, pleaded guilty in Newcastle District Court on Tuesday to the aggravated kidnapping of the 54-year-old clockmaker in November 2013.
The clockmaker had owed money and had kept several clocks belonging to Islington businessman William Barry Jones when the victim arrived at the jewellers on the promise of work from Williams, whom he had had a sporadic work relationship with for 15 years.
But the victim was instead walked into a back “polishing room” after Williams told him ‘‘in here’’, where the four men confronted him about the debt.
Jones, who has already been handed a suspended two-year jail sentence, was also present.
‘‘The apparent leader of the group said to the [victim] “you owe him money”, indicating to Jones,’’ an agreed statement of facts said.
Williams left the room, turned off the CCTV inside the shop and played no further part in the crime.
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The victim was punched several times in the back room, causing a bloody nose and a cut above an eye.
He was also tied up and taken away in a car before he was driven to a storage shed where jewellery, clocks and other items were taken before he was freed.
‘‘The offender was not owed money by the complainant and the demands for money and property were not made for his benefit,’’ the facts read.
‘‘‘The offender has therefore been involved to the extent that he arranged for the complainant to attend the store, arranged for persons to confront and detain the complainant in the secure rear room of his premises and caused the complainant to enter and be detained by the group inside the room where he was assaulted.’’
‘‘The offender asserts that he [had] no expectation that the complainant would be taken or that weapons would be produced.”
The statement of facts said the four men had not been identified.
It was not expected that there would be any evidence given on their identities.
Sentencing submissions will be held on March 18.