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Ryan Tandy granted bail over alleged kidnapping

Disgraced footballer Ryan Tandy has been granted bail after a key witness sensationally showed up to the courthouse and backed the former NRL prop’s version of an alleged kidnapping.

The former Bulldog’s player, 32, appeared before Gosford Local Court on Monday after he was last week charged with allegedly kidnapping a man over a supposed drug debt.

Police allege Tandy, 32, was the ‘‘hired muscle’’ for two other men who were trying to recoup money from the alleged victim.

The court heard that the alleged victim was picked up by Tandy and the other two men outside a central coast club last Thursday night.

The alleged victim was then held against his will until the next day when he was threatened by one of Tandy’s co-accused and driven to a bank to withdraw the money that was owed.

In documents before the court, police allege that another “unknown person” was with the trio while the man was being detained.


On Monday, that “unknown person” unexpectedly showed up to Gosford Local Court and gave her version of events to police, prosecutors and Tandy’s defence.

The woman, identified in court as Sophie Lane, said she had spent Thursday night at a motel and at the club with the alleged victim.

She said she had then also gone along with the three men when they picked up the alleged victim from the club.

While not with the men for the entire duration, she said she never heard a threat against the victim by any of this three alleged kidnappers.

After giving evidence to police on Monday, Ms Lane left Gosford Local Court flanked by two men who identified themselves to reporters as friends of Tandy.

One of the men covered the young woman with a jacket, put his hand over her mouth and pushed as well as swore at waiting television cameras as they left.

In addressing the question of bail, Magistrate John Chicken said that the evidence given by Ms Lane was a ‘‘hit’’ in the prosecution case against Tandy, as were stills of security camera footage from inside the bank which showed the alleged victim walked in unaccompanied and with his mobile phone.

If the man felt threatened he would have had the opportunity to raise the alarm with bank staff, the magistrate said.

“The complainant is in a position where there are any number of people to whom he could have complained,” Mr Chicken said. “A message passed to the bank teller ‘I’m being held against my will’.”

He said while Tandy, who was convicted over an NRL betting scandal in 2011, was not unknown to the criminal justice system he had no history of violence and had previously complied with court orders.

Mr Chicken granted Tandy $2,500 bail on the condition be report to police daily and abide by a curfew between 8pm and 8am.

Outside the court, Tandy’s solicitor, Manny Conditsis, said praised the magistrate’s decision as “correct and courageous”, adding: “The crown case against Mr Tandy is very weak ... He will vigorously defend the charges.”

Tandy will appear before court again in April.

The disgraced footballer was convicted of match fixing while playing for Canterbury against North Queensland in 2010.

He was fined $4000 and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond, with his conviction recorded as he attempted to make money off the first scoring play of the game.

Investigations were launched following a $30,000 betting plunge on the game.

The prop forward featured in 36 NRL games across five clubs including St George Illawarra, South Sydney, Wests Tigers, Melbourne and Canterbury.

He played in Melbourne’s 2009 grand final win against Parramatta before making a mid-season switch to the Bulldogs the following season.

Tandy returned to rugby league for French club Pia Donkeys in 2012 despite calls to cancel his registration.

One of his co-accused, Simon Daher, who was arrested on Saturday, will appear before Gosford Local Court later this week.