Fake collar bomber jailed for minimum 10 years
THE man who terrorised a wealthy Sydney schoolgirl by placing a fake collar bomb around her neck and holding her captive for 10 hours in an elaborate extortion attempt has been jailed for more than 13 years.
Paul Douglas Peters, 50, threatened to blow up 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver if her parents failed to send money to a supplied email address in August last year.
He then fled to the US but was arrested soon after and brought back to Australia.
Flanked by family and friends, Madeleine fronted a Sydney Court on Tuesday to see that justice was served.
In sentencing, Justice Peter Zahra said the terror Peters caused was "unimaginable".
He rejected claims made by Peter's lawyers that he was suffering from mental issues and believed he was the character in a book and said the enormity of the ordeal called for a "strong element" of deterrence.
As her kidnapper was led away from the court Madeleine fronted the media pack.
She said she was happy with the outcome and while she realised it was "going to take some time" to recover from her ordeal, she looked forward to a future where Peter's name wasn't linked to hers.
"For me it was never about the sentencing but to know that he will not reoffend," Madeleine said
"It has been a surprise to me that this year has been much harder than the last year but I am lucky enough to have a wonderful family and friends and we're all making good progress."
Madeleine also thanked police for their professionalism and said her next step would be attending Sydney University in the New Year.
Wearing a rainbow balaclava, Peters broke into the Pulver's North Sydney home, tied a box attached to a bike chain around Madeleine's neck and waved about a ransom note calling for her parents to deposit funds.
Surrounding streets were blocked off and explosives experts and negotiators were at the scene for 10 hours before determining the bomb was fake.
Detectives tracked Peters to Kentucky where he was arrested.
At first he denied the allegations but in March this year he pleaded guilty in a Sydney court to aggravated break and enter and detaining for advantage.
Peters was sentenced to a total of 13 years and six months in jail on Tuesday.
He will be eligible for parole in August, 2021.