Duo found guilty of extortion
A COUPLE, found guilty of trying to extort money from a young man with Asperger Syndrome and his mother, has told a court they feared for their own lives.
Dane Stephen Horn and Krystal Anne McKewin made threats to the 21-year-old and his mother.
They made threatening phone calls to the 21-year-old, who lives at Banksia Beach on Bribie Island, who was sent to Sydney to stay with his father when the abuse resulted in paranoia and sleeping issues.
They then visited the man's mother, Horn's hairdresser, to make further death threats and money requests at the family's Sandstone Point home last year.
When the 21-year-old would not hand over the money in his account, he received threats that a Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang might become involved.
Horn, 24, and McKewin, 21, would tell him they would "find you and bash you" or "find your car and smash it" if he did not hand over the money.
The pair had also threatened to hurt his mother, telling him they knew where his family lived.
They also sent text messages threatening to kill him.
"You (expletive)," McKewin said to the 52-year-old mother when the couple visited their home on June 13, 2011.
"I hope you look good in a box, because you're going to be dead," she said.
The court heard that if the couple failed to get money from the victim's bank account, they too would be shot.
The couple lived with a man who claimed to have involvement with the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Club.
Judge Michael Noud sentenced them to two years' jail, wholly suspended for three years, when they faced Brisbane District Court yesterday.
A statement of facts tendered to the court revealed that the 21-year-old, whose wallet had gone missing, suspected a third party had impersonated him after getting a $2500 credit card statement in his name and learning unidentified money had gone into his account.
McKewin told police she reacted badly because she was "scared and desperate".
Horn told police he believed they would be shot if they did not collect the money by 6pm that day.