9 Apr 2019

Tourist attempts kidnapping after drug deal goes wrong

2:39 pm on 9 April 2019

By Rob Kidd for the Otago Daily Times

A French tourist attacked and tried to kidnap a drug dealer after he failed to supply cannabis he promised, a court has heard.

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A tourist has pleaded guilty of assaulting and trying to kidnap a teenager, who took money but failed to supply cannabis. Photo: 123rf

Antoine Andrew Dany Therle, 30, appeared in the Dunedin District Court this morning, where he pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping and assault with intent to injure.

The plea came nearly six months after a violent incident in North Dunedin that left a teenage victim shirtless, bruised and begging for help.

Therle - a highly-regarded chef - first came into contact with 18-year-old Tobias Waring through a Facebook page set up offering small amounts of cannabis to French travellers in New Zealand.

Waring took $400 from the defendant and failed to deliver the class-C drug he had offered, according to court documents.

When Therle saw the teen appear online under a new profile, he orchestrated another meeting with retribution in mind.

Waring was sitting on a park bench when the aggrieved tourist arrived.

Therle immediately stood over him in a threatening manner and put him in a "headlock".

As the victim struggled, the man tightened his grip.

When Waring finally extricated himself, he claimed he did not know his attacker.

Therle responded by punching him twice in the face - once with each fist.

Another blow dropped Waring to his knees and the defendant followed it up with a flurry of about 10 further punches.

Therle dragged the man along the pavement, kicked him several times in the stomach and upper body and continued to haul him along Duke St towards his van.

Waring, in a choke-hold, bit Therle and managed to break free.

He ran to a nearby dairy, his shirt ripped off and his upper body covered in cuts and grazes.

Therle admitted to police he had "lost control" and said it was his plan to take Waring to an ATM to recoup his $400.

He was remanded on bail ahead of sentencing in June.

In December, Waring was sentenced to three months' community detention and 12 months' intensive supervision on charges of offering to supply cannabis and an unrelated burglary.

- This story first appeared in Otago Daily Times

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