NSW kidnapper loses bid for mum's estate A man who kidnapped his own daughter and demanded $1.25 million ransom from her mother has lost a NSW Supreme Court bid for a share of his late mother's estate.
A man who kidnapped his own daughter and demanded $1.25 million ransom from her mother has lost a NSW Supreme Court bid for a share of his late mother’s estate.
John Justin Leary, 49, dyed his hair with peroxide after abducting the two-year-old girl and taking her to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in 2006 before he was arrested.
In a judgment handed down this week rejecting Leary’s claim for a share of his 74-year-old mother Colleen Pidcock’s estate, Justice Julie Ward outlined how Leary served just three months’ jail over the kidnapping.
Justice Ward said Leary initially claimed during the hearing over his mother’s estate that he was homeless and had ”recently squandered significant amounts of money gambling”.
She said Leary admitted having taken out insurance on his mother’s life as soon as he became aware she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Leary claimed when his mother found out what he had done, she told him she felt like he was ”dancing on her grave”.
The judge said Leary did not disclose to the court until May this year how he had significant assets (in shares and in cash) over the very period in which he was asserting that he was homeless, impecunious and dependent on a disability support pension.
He was vague in the witness box as to the amount of money that had gone in and out of his bank accounts in recent years but seemed to accept that it was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Justice Ward said that when Leary was being cross-examined he admitted having lied to the court throughout the proceedings.
He accepted that they were significant lies about serious matters and, relevantly, he accepted that they were lies that were calculated and designed to strengthen his case.
The judge said Leary admitted withdrawing $239,520 from his cash management account in April 2017 when claiming to be homeless.
”I am not satisfied that a complete picture of John’s financial position has been provided by him,” Justice Ward said.
Regrettably, though he proffered numerous apologies for his conduct in lying to the court and to his solicitors, and stated on many occasions in the witness box his shame at other morally repugnant conduct … I cannot place any reliance on John’s assertions as to what has happened to the substantial sums of money he says he dissipated.