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Jail term hiked for man who left Australia on Indian passport

world Updated: Oct 21, 2009 12:17 IST

IANS
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A blond convicted kidnapper, who blackened his hair and tanned his face to escape from Australia on an Indian passport, was jailed for an extra six months on Wednesday by an Australian court.

Twenty three-year-old Julian Matthias Buchwald fooled immigration authorities in Sydney and flew via Singapore to India, where his disguise was immediately spotted at passport control.

Indian immigration authorities sent him back to Singapore and he was arrested and returned to Melbourne to face justice, Herald Sun reported on Wednesday.

In August, Buchwald was found guilty by a jury of a bizarre kidnapping where he subjected his long-term girlfriend to a six-day naked ordeal in the bush.

The pair were on a picnic together and Buchwald left their vehicle and donned a balaclava. He then bound and blindfolded his girlfriend and drove her to a remote spot and cut off all of her clothing, the media report said.

She had no idea her attacker was Buchwald and she believed she was going to be raped and killed. Buchwald then cut off all of his clothing, and pretended he had been kidnapped too.

The pair spent the next six days wandering naked through the bush with Buchwald trying to persuade her to have sex with him.

In the Victorian County court on Wednesday, Judge John Smallwood told Buchwald a message had to be sent to offenders who tried to escape punishment by fleeing jurisdiction.

Last month, Judge Smallwood jailed Buchwald in his absence to a minimum term of five years and three months on counts of kidnapping and making a false report.

"People in similar situations cannot be allowed to think there will not be consequences," the judge was quoted as saying.

Prosecutor Bob Johnson said Wednesday that after he was convicted at La Trobe County Court, Buchwald was bailed to appear again Sep 17.

Johnson said that he failed to appear and it was discovered he had left the country the day before on an Indian passport, but with the owner's photograph replaced with Buchwald's disguised face.

"Mr Buchwald had dyed his hair black and his complexion is much ?tanner', shall I say," Johnson was quoted as saying.

Defence barrister Campbell Thomson said that Buchwald fled overseas because he was assaulted while on remand and he was frightened of being returned to jail.

The judge said he also did not accept that an Indian passport had simply fallen into Buchwald's possession.

In his sentence on the kidnapping, Judge Smallwood said Buchwald subjected his 17-year-old victim to a terrifying ordeal.

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