Man put 'kidnapped' woman in grave: court


These are great days we're living, bros
A Melbourne man who allegedly kidnapped a woman he met online and tried to extort money from her family told police his victim was a willing participant in the plot, a court has been told.
Darren Wayne Saltmarsh, 35, said he would torture the Nepalese student before killing her, if her overseas family did not pay him $20,000, police allege.

Throughout the alleged 65-hour kidnap ordeal the terrified woman was not given any food and was frequently vomiting, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard.

Saltmarsh, who faces charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment and making a threat to kill, was refused bail on Monday.

Police stormed a Pakenham property on October 20 this year as Saltmarsh was allegedly pushing the bound woman, who had her head covered by a beanie, into a grave, the court heard.
Her family in Nepal had contacted police there and Victoria police had been alerted.
Detective Senior Constable Glen Sharper told the court Saltmarsh met the woman online and at their first face-to-face meeting, a few weeks before the kidnapping, asked her to be part of an arranged marriage with him.

The woman was allegedly to pay Saltmarsh $20,000 in exchange for obtaining a residency permit as a result of the marriage, the court heard.

On October 18, Saltmarsh talked the woman into meeting him in the CBD and after saying he was taking her to a friend's house, he allegedly kidnapped her.

When they arrived at the Pakenham house Saltmarsh allegedly held a knife to the woman's throat and said, "Don't shout or yell or you will be killed".

After his arrest Saltmarsh told a police officer he canvassed the internet looking for foreign students to blackmail, because he believed they were working in contravention of their student visas, Det Sen-Const Sharper told the court.

Saltmarsh was annoyed they were getting visas to come to Australia when his Filipino wife could not get one, he said.

When arrested, Saltmarsh allegedly claimed he and the kidnapped woman were going to marry each other and she had participated in the plot so they could get money from her family.
He claimed the grave had been dug so it could be photographed as part of the plot, the court heard.
Prosecutor Julian Ayres opposed bail, saying the alleged offence was a calculated, pre-planned plot against a vulnerable and isolated student.

Saltmarsh's lawyer Rob Devolle said his client was a man with no prior history, strong family support and had a stable residence to live at.
Saltmarsh was a gambling addict and bankrupt, the court heard.

Deputy chief magistrate Dan Muling refused bail, saying the prosecution case was strong and the woman had been put through extreme trauma.