‘Don’t f**king burn me’: Man’s horror kidnap ordeal
As the flames crackled around him and the smell of petrol filled the room, Darren struggled furiously against the ropes strapping him to a chair.
He managed to drag himself, still tied to the chair, into the kitchen of his home in country NSW and grab a blunt butcher's knife.
By the time the 68-year-old cut through the rope and broke free, the legs of the chair, along with most of the house, were on fire.
It sounds like a scene from a Hollywood movie but this was the frightening reality for Darren, not his real name, who was allegedly kidnapped and left for dead in Ootha, west of Parkes, on October, 9, 2018.
Details of the horrific incident were aired in the Bathurst District Court on Thursday as one of the three men allegedly responsible - Adam Thomas McKay - was sentenced to 23 years behind bars.
Adam McKay's father, Jason McKay, was allegedly bitter about the breakdown of his marriage. Police will allege he recruited the then 23-year-old Adam McKay, and 29-year-old Samuel Towney, to seek revenge.
The trio drove six hours from the Hunter Region to Ootha, where Jason McKay's 41-year-old estranged wife was staying with her partner Darren, two teenagers and a 71-year-old woman. The victims can't be legally identified.
Judge Graham Turnbull told the court that the ex-wife woke up at 6am on October 9, 2018, and allegedly found Towney in the house with a shotgun and Jason McKay in the hallway with a tomahawk.
Adam McKay was holding a metal bar and struck Darren, who had emerged from his bedroom, over the head.
Jason McKay, the court heard, told everyone to hand over their mobile phones while Towney allegedly went into the teenagers' bedroom to check if they had called triple-0.
The court heard over the next three hours the accused remained at the home, fixing a flat tyre while the 71-year-old woman begged them to call an ambulance for Darren.
According to court documents Jason McKay told the woman to get the teenagers ready to leave the house before handing his son Adam a rope to restrain Darren.
"Finish this c … off now," Jason McKay told Adam McKay, the court heard.
"Make sure it's all down, bring all the drums, don't leave anything behind. We will catch you down the road."
The court heard Towney started to pour petrol around the house.
When Adam McKay began to tie Darren to a chair, Darren said "please shoot me, don't f**king burn me".
The court heard Adam McKay replied: "This is how dad wants it."
Darren heard a boom and as the accused ran out of the house and locked the door, Towney allegedly said "Have a nice day".
Darren then pulled off his remarkable escape and fled to a neighbour's house for help before he was take to hospital with serious injuries.
The accused and their allegedly victims were eventually found in two cars by police after a huge search operation.
In sentencing Adam, Judge Turnbull said Adam McKay's early guilty plea was "the most tangible proof of the cleaving of his destructive and dangerous bond with his father", the judge said.
Adam McKay, who was sentenced on nine charges including aggravated break and enter, will be eligible for parole in October 2033.
Jason McKay and Towney have pleaded not guilty to a string of offences, including aggravated break and enter and detain person in company. They are due to face court next month.
Originally published as 'Don't f**king burn me': Man's horror kidnap ordeal