Haunting picture of Brisbane teacher before M1 death
THIS is the shocking final image of Brisbane private school teacher Anthony Stott.
Tied to a chair with rope, with hands bound behind his back, he looks stunned.
Hours later the 43-year-old would be dead.
Almost two weeks after the popular French teacher was hit by a semi-trailer on the M1 at Cudgera Creek, south of Tweed Heads, in NSW, The Courier-Mail can today reveal the haunting photograph, after it was tendered in court.
It was allegedly sent to several people by those accused of holding him hostage in an attempt to identify the man before his death.
It comes as a relative of one of three people charged with the detaining the St Peters Lutheran College teacher - Lauren Grainger - has hit out at police, saying they're on a "witch-hunt" to find someone to blame for a tragic accident.
Police have alleged Mr Stott was held captive by Cudgera Creek a couple - Mark Frost, 46 and Grainger, 38 - who have both been charged with detaining the schoolteacher with intent to obtain an advantage.
The award-winning market farmers are accused of tying Mr Stott to a chair and holding him captive during a six-hour ordeal at their northern NSW property.
Court documents claim he either escaped from his captors or was released before running on to the M1 and into the path of the semi on February 10.
Mr Stott had just returned from a trip to Peru the previous day and his silver BMW had been found abandoned in the middle of the M1 nearby at 2am - but it wasn't until he was killed that police discovered why he had abandoned his car.
In another bizarre twist to the case, The Courier-Mail understands another witness has come forward to NSW detectives and revealed she saw Mr Stott walk away from the property unharmed.
"The whole thing is a witch-hunt, the police just want someone to blame because a man walked out onto the M1 and was killed," a family source close to Grainger said.
"It's just completely ridiculous … (Lauren is) a good person.
When contacted by The Courier-Mail, defence solicitor for Grainger, Dave Garratt declined to comment only to say his client continued to deny the allegations.
A third person - Craig Arthur Button - was on Friday charged over the alleged incident involving the Springfield schoolteacher.
He was granted bail on strict conditions.
Frost was also denied bail and will reappear on April 6.