Thu, Jul 28, 2022 7:35 AM

Trio accused of serious violence in remote area held behind bars


Staff reporter

Three people accused of a "seriously frightening" intrusion and attack in a remote area are behind bars, for now.

Shaun MacFarlane and Mihi Barton appeared in the Nelson District Court today via audio visual link from a custody cell where they've been held since they were arrested yesterday.

A third person charged in relation to the alleged home invasion was remanded in custody by consent.

The three were arrested in Nelson after police received a report of an incident near Canvastown - a small settlement between Nelson and Blenheim, in which a weapon was said to be involved.

Armed police responded and stopped a vehicle connected to the incident on State Highway 6 on the way into Nelson, just after 1pm yesterday.

The three were arrested and each was charged with kidnapping, aggravated burglary and unlawfully carrying a firearm.

Attempts by MacFarlane and Barton to seek bail were unsuccessful after Judge Richard Russell said the arguments against were weighted in favour of submissions by the police and Crown.

Judge Russell said it was alleged that on July 26 MacFarlane, Barton and a co-offender travelled from Nelson to Canvastown where the two victims, a husband and wife, lived.

A third person was also present on the property at the time.

It was alleged that the husband and his friend were in a woolshed on the property, and the wife was in a caravan nearby when MacFarlane and one of the co-offenders entered the woolshed and a machete was pulled.

The wife came out of the caravan, when it was alleged she was grabbed by the wrists and a threat was made to harm her.

The couple's friend was able to alert the police, but threats of violence, including that the husband would be stabbed, were alleged to have continued until the three left when told the police were on their way.

Judge Russell said according to victim statements given to the police, they claim to have been subjected to an "extremely intrusive frightening attack" in an isolated area where there was no cellphone coverage.

He said while the accused, who were yet to plea, were entitled to the presumption of innocence, that did not mean he could ignore what was alleged.

MacFarlane and Barton were remanded in custody until their next scheduled appearance on August 15, with the option to apply for electronically monitored bail.

The third person charged was remanded until September 19.

Nelson Bays Area Commander Inspector Matt Scoles praised the actions of the officers involved in yesterday's arrests.

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