'Horribly traumatic': New details emerge in Stuart MacGill kidnapping

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Stuart MacGill, pictured here in action for Australia during a Test match.
Four men have been charged over the alleged kidnapping of Stuart MacGill. Image: NSW Police/AAP/Getty

Stuart MacGill was reportedly so frightened by his kidnapping ordeal that he hid out in a motel for nearly a week.

Four men have faced court on multiple charges after allegedly submitting the former cricket star to a kidnapping ordeal so frightening that he waited almost a week to go to police.

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MacGill was allegedly forced into a car at Cremorne on Sydney's north shore about 8pm on April 14.

Police say he was then taken to a remote location at Bringelly in Sydney's southwest where three assailants allegedly tried to extort money from the 50-year-old.

About an hour later, MacGill was driven 45 minutes away to Belmore, where he was dumped.

The Herald Sun reported on Wednesday that MacGill booked himself into a motel rather than return home after the ordeal, staying out of sight for a week.

The men allegedly involved were arrested in dawn raids on Wednesday, and faced court later that day.

Son Minh Nguyen, 42, Marino Sotiropoulos, 46, and Frederick and Richard Schaaf, 27 and 29, did not apply for bail.

It's been widely reported that Sotiropoulos is the bother of MacGill’s recent partner Maria O’Meagher.

O’Meagher is the owner of Neutral Bay restaurant Aristotle’s, where MacGill has worked as manager since 2018.

There is no suggestion she had any involvement in the alleged abduction.

Stuart MacGill, pictured here with Maria O’Meagher.
Stuart MacGill and Maria O’Meagher. Images: Facebook

All men face one kidnapping charge of taking and detaining a person in company to get advantage and occasion actual bodily harm.

Nguyen has additionally been charged with knowingly directing the activities of a criminal group, while Sotiropoulos faces one count for supplying a prohibited drug of a large commercial quantity.

The Schaaf brothers also face a charge each of participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Richard Schaaf is an associate of the Comanchero bikie gang.

Stuart MacGill's 'horribly traumatic experience'

Detective Acting Superintendent Anthony Holton said MacGill had only been held for an hour at the property but it would have been a "frightful hour".

"You'd be questioning what could potentially happen to you in that time," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"It would be a horribly traumatic experience to endure."

MacGill sustained minor injuries but did not require medical treatment.

Police, pictured here taking a man into custody over the alleged kidnapping of Stuart MacGill.
Police take a man into custody over the alleged kidnapping of Stuart MacGill. (AAP Image/Supplied by NSW Police)

The former Test spinner's "significant fear" led to his delay in reporting, Det Supt Holton told reporters.

"Everyone experiences trauma differently," he said.

"To be dragged into a car, driven to a remote location, physically assaulted, threatened with a firearm, held for a period of time then dumped, I think you'd be pretty worried about your own personal safety, the safety of your family and your friends," he said.

The men's motive was purely financial - to obtain "as much money as they possibly could" - but they didn't issue a ransom demand and didn't end up with any money.

He said there was "no suggestion" drugs were involved.

"I can say that his kidnapping is not involved in any other backstory that leads to him having any personal debt to people that he had to pay back," Det Supt Holton said when asked if MacGill owed money.

Police say they will be "closely monitoring" MacGill's welfare.

Stuart MacGill, pictured here in action during a Test match in 2008.
Stuart MacGill in action during a Test match in 2008. (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Australian Cricketers' Association also said they'd checked in.

"My primary concern for Stuart today is his wellbeing and for him personally," chief executive Todd Greenberg told reporters in Sydney.

"We have reached out to him in a variety of different forms through relationships through the game and my primary message to Stuart is we want to make sure he's OK."

Only 16 Australians have claimed more Test wickets than MacGill, although his career was stymied by the presence of fellow leg-spinner and the nation's record wicket-taker Shane Warne.

with AAP

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