Pair jailed over disabled woman’s ordeal

Brooke Levina Jane Brown, 20, and Matthew James Leuthwaite, 23, were on Thursday sentenced for their role in the “gratuitous cruelty” inflicted on Kayla Kendrigan.

Brown, Leuthwaite and two teenagers, who can’t be named for legal reasons, kidnapped Ms Kendrigan in September 2018.

The group wanted revenge because they believed she had badmouthed them on social media

She was tied to a chair, hit with a bat and had her eyebrows shaved off after the group forced her into a car and took her to a western Sydney house.

Leuthwaite cut off Ms Kendrigan’s ponytail while Brown stabbed her in the leg.

She also had a sock soaked in cleaning fluid shoved in her mouth and a cigarette stubbed out on her hand.

Leuthwaite was sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison, while Brown will serve at least four years behind bars.

“Gratuitous cruelty was involved in this offence,” Judge Mark Buscombe told the Penrith District Court.

“The victim was subjected to considerable humiliation. Her hair was cut, her eyebrows shaved and a cigarette extinguished on her skin. She was a vulnerable victim who suffered from a disability.”

Kayla Kendrigan speaking to A Current Affair in 2018. Picture: ACASource:Supplied

She was kidnapped and tortured before being thrown off Windsor Bridge. Picture: ACA

She was kidnapped and tortured before being thrown off Windsor Bridge. Picture: ACASource:Supplied

Ms Kendrigan’s phone was stolen after she desperately tried to call her father for help.

She was later bundled back into the car and driven to Windsor Bridge, where she was thrown into the Hawkesbury River.

“That action involved the grave risk of death to the victim,” Judge Buscombe said. “Threats to her life were made if she went to police.”

The then-19-year-old survived the fall, clinging to a pylon in the water before regaining the strength to dog paddle to shore.

Leuthwaite filmed parts of the kidnapping and abuse and later boastfully sent them to a friend, the court was told.

He also tried to sell Ms Kendrigan’s phone at a brothel.

“He said he’d been on a four-day bender using ice and hadn’t slept in four days,” Judge Buscombe said.

Brown and Leuthwaite have a young child together but were separated at the time of the kidnapping.

Ms Kendrigan and members of her family were present for the sentencing.

Leuthwaite and Brown had earlier pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the kidnapping and robbery.

“The crime was a most serious one,” the judge said. “It was unprovoked, involved long detention and gratuitous cruelty to a young woman with a significant physical disability.”


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