Grainger in court accused of bashing teacher with golf club

 

A COUPLE charged with tying private school teacher Anthony Stott to a chair and bashing him with a golf club before he was fatally struck by a semi-trailer claims he came to their property armed with a knife, a court has heard.

Lauren Grainger, 38, and Mark Frost, 46, also allegedly took photos of Mr Stott tied to a chair by the hands and neck in their farm shed, police allege in court documents.

New Farm unit searched as investigation into M1 death continues

The popular St Peters College French teacher, 43, died in bizarre circumstances last Monday after he was allegedly held captive for up to six-and-half hours at the Cudgera Creek farm owned by Frost and Grainger.

He was then hit by the semi-trailer on the Pacific Highway, about 500m from the farm.

He had just flown back into Brisbane after a trip to Peru.

Mr Stott's silver BMW was founded abandoned in a lane on the M1 before he was allegedly held captive at the farmhouse.

Frost, 46, and Grainger, 38, have been charged with detaining Mr Stott in company with intent to obtain advantage.

(Left) Mark Frost has been charged with detaining Mr Stott in company to obtain advantage. (Right) Lauren Grainger. Picture (right): Jason O'Brien
(Left) Mark Frost has been charged with detaining Mr Stott in company to obtain advantage. (Right) Lauren Grainger. Picture (right): Jason O'Brien

Grainger applied for bail in Tweed Heads Local Court.

In a police statement of facts tendered to the court, Grainger allegedly told police that early last Monday, she disturbed an unknown male armed with a knife at the property.

"I tried to restrain him ... I marched him out there (to the shed)," she allegedly told police.

Grainger allegedly told police that she and Frost tied Mr Stott to a chair and assaulted him 'to elicit from him his reason for being on their property'.

She allegedly said she and Frost took mobile phones photos of Mr Stott tied to the chair, one of which was tendered to the court.

Brisbane man Anthony Stott, who was hit and killed by a semi-trailer on the M1 NSW. Photo Facebook
Brisbane man Anthony Stott, who was hit and killed by a semi-trailer on the M1 NSW. Photo Facebook

The police prosecutor told the court that Mr Stott was tied by his hands and neck and the photo showed he was 'not there by consent' and looked 'quite distressed'.

Grainger allegedly told police that Mr Stott was released at daybreak and 'casually' walked towards the M1.

Police stated that Mr Stott either escaped from the farm shed or was released and was then fatally struck by the semi-trailer.

Witnesses said they saw Mr Stott with his hands up as he emerged from bushland before he was hit by the truck, police stated.

The prosecutor said the chair and rope had not been found, despite an extensive search of the Cudgera Creek property.

Tweed-Byron police have set up a crime scene at a Cudgera Creek property. Photo: Scott Powick
Tweed-Byron police have set up a crime scene at a Cudgera Creek property. Photo: Scott Powick

She said the offence carried a maximum 20-year jail sentence and Grainger had not been 'completely honest' with police.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy said it was a 'very unusual' case for a number of reasons, including Grainger's lack of criminal history.

But he said the allegations against Grainger were 'very serious' and the case against her was 'relatively strong'.

Grainger's brother had offered to put up a substantial surety and allow her to live with him in Kin Kin.

But Mr Dunlevy refused bail, saying Grainger was at risk of interfering with the recovery of key evidence including the chair and rope.

Police stated that they observed similar knives to the one Mr Stott was allegedly brandishing in the farmhouse kitchen, 'casting some doubt' over Grainger's story.

EARLIER: A woman accused of tying a Brisbane private school teacher to a chair and bashing him with a golf club before he was fatally struck by a semi-trailer is applying for bail.

Anthony Stott, a popular French teacher at St Peters College at Springfield, died in bizarre circumstances in northern NSW on Monday, just a day after returning to Queensland from a trip to Peru.

After flying back into Brisbane from Sydney on Sunday afternoon, the 43-year-old travelled to the Tweed Valley where his silver BMW was found abandoned on the Pacific Highway at Cudgera Creek about 2am the following morning.

Police have alleged Mr Stott somehow ended up at a nearby farmhouse where he was tied to a chair, tortured and beaten with a golf club.

He is believed to have escaped the property and run bloodied through the paddock before being hit and killed by the truck on the M1.

Cudgera Creek couple Mark Frost, 46, and Lauren Grainger, 38, were arrested and charged with detaining Mr Stott in company to obtain advantage.

The award-winning market farmers were refused bail when they appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court last Tuesday but are back in court today.

Only Grainger is applying for bail, which is expected to be opposed by police.

In denying bail for her and Frost last week, magistrate Geoff Dunlevy said the alleged offence was 'violent' and there was 'significant evidence to support the police allegations'.

He said the investigation was complex and still in its infancy and refused bail for both Frost and Grainger, saying they were at risk of failing to reappear in court, committing further serious offences and interfering with witnesses.

Police are investigating how and why Mr Stott ended up in northern NSW, including the possibility that he may have been abducted from his small New Farm unit.

They spent several days last week examining the unit and scouring the Cudgera Creek property where he was allegedly held captive.

Speaking outside court, Grainger's solicitor Dave Garrett, of Howden Saggers Lawyers, said his client would be 'adamantly contesting' the charge.



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