Kidnapped for $150 drug debt, court told

A MAN accused of beating, robbing and kidnapping a drug dealer over a $150 debt has been refused bail at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Tyler Csincsi, 24, intends to fight the charges including armed robbery, detaining for ransom, false imprisonment, recklessly causing serious injury and threatening to kill the male victim in Berwick on 8 and 9 February.

Csincsi, his brother Hayden – who is yet to be arrested over the incident – and a woman Brayden Williams were allegedly involved in the kidnapping, the court was told on 19 February.

Prosecutor Sarah Lenthall said the male victim had been sent several threatening texts over his $150 “drug debt” to Csincsi beforehand.

Williams allegedly requested the drug dealer to meet and sell her $3200 of methamphetamine – or ice – in Eden Rise shopping centre car park that evening.

At the rendezvous, the Csincsi brothers arrived in a Pulsar and confronted the victim who was punched with closed fists to his face and throat.

“Where’s his money, c—?” the victim was allegedly asked.

Ms Lenthall said the victim was threatened at the point of a combat-style knife to hand over a ransom of $2000 and 14 grams of meth.

The Csincsi brothers then rummaged through the dealer’s car, allegedly stealing $7500 of items.

Their loot allegedly included an iPad Air 2, a wallet with bank cards, bags of small hand tools such as shifters, spanners, welders and engravers, two sets of car keys and 50 ecstasy pills.

As the victim was driven away in his own car, he rang his partner and told her he needed $2000. The partner observed the victim was “panicked” and “breathing heavily”, Ms Lenthall said.

At one point, the driver Williams took the phone and allegedly said: “If you don’t have the money in 15 minutes, he’ll be killed.”

She stopped the car behind the Csincsis’ Pulsar on Soldiers Road, Berwick. Under renewed deadly threat, the dealer made more calls for funds.

Police found the “traumatised” victim in a McDonald’s car park that night. They described him as a “mental and physical wreck” and in “genuine fear of his life”.

Ms Lenthall, in arguing against Csincsi’s bail, told the court Csincsi was at risk of interfering with witnesses as well as several of his debtors.

She said the applicant appeared to be a meth dealer, had been guilty of violent crimes in the past and the victim had received subsequent threats.

“If he will go to these lengths for $150, what will he do for greater amounts?”

A sobbing Csincsi told the court he had stable accommodation and a job offer from family members, as well as help from a psychologist on the “outside”.

He told the court he’d had “a lot of time to think” as he detoxed in remand during the past week. He planned to return to playing Australian Rules and to “keep away from the bad things in life”.

“I know that with the support of my (family) … I can get help with my drug use.

“I understand the seriousness of the charges. Any kind of offending … I know what will happen and what type of trouble I would be in.”

Magistrate Lance Martin said he was not satisfied that cause was shown for bail, despite Csincsi’s assurances.

Mr Martin took into account the seriousness of the charges, Csincsi’s previous drug-related crime and that “drugs were part of the narrative behind the alleged offending”.

Csincsi will make a lawyer-represented bail application on 10 March, possibly backed by an assessment for treatment and support under the Court Integrated Services Program (CISP).

Mr Martin warned that “mere suitability” for CISP may not be sufficient for bail.

Csincsi will also appear at a committal mention on 9 May at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.







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