Alleged kidnappers granted bail
TWO people have faced court after a 13-year-old boy was allegedly kidnapped from a home in Manifold Heights earlier this week.
The Geelong Magistrates' Court on Wednesday heard the teenager was screaming as he was dragged into a car and driven away by two relatives on Monday night.
The boy's uncle - a 51-year-old man from Hillcrest, near Ballarat - appeared in court facing charges including child stealing, kidnapping and assault.
He was granted bail alongside the boy's sister - a 32-year-old woman from Corio - who has been charged with similar offences.
The court heard the pair arrived at the house about 10.30pm before a confrontation ensued with the boy's other adult sister, who was caring for the child following the death of their father last month.
Detective Senior Constable Adam Barnes said the accused man threw the woman into the side of a car, before grabbing the child who was "terrified" and screaming.
He said the boy managed to escape and run towards a neighbouring home, but was grabbed again and put into a car before being driven away.
The child was recovered from his uncle's home on Tuesday and has since been returned to his sister.
Sen-Constable Barnes said there was no prior relationship between the boy and his uncle, who had been estranged from his family in recent years.
He said investigators were "extremely" concerned about the effect on the child, who was traumatised following the incident and had told police he was scared and unable to sleep.
The court heard the accused man took action on the belief he was "saving" the boy from dire living conditions.
During a police interview, the man claimed his brother - the boy's father - had asked him to care for the child prior to his death from illness.
Sen-Constable Barnes said he did not oppose the man being granted bail as long as appropriate conditions were imposed.
Magistrate Ann McGarvie chose to bail the man with conditions including regular reporting to Ballarat police station.
He will return to court alongside his female co-accused on July 10.
Originally published as Alleged kidnappers granted bail