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Great Barrier kidnap victim a 'hero' say police

Published: 6:35AM Wednesday June 13, 2012 Source: ONE News/ Fairfax

Police say a woman who survived a horrifying 38-hour kidnap ordeal on Great Barrier Island is a hero, and should be a role model for others.

Nortessa Montgomerie was beaten unconscious and dragged through the bush by her former boyfriend, Nathan Boulter, last year. She suffered a brain haemorrhage, a chipped skull and ribs and severe bruising all over her body.

She was eventually rescued after persuading Boulter they could escape on the ferry together and he should throw his weapon in a stream.

Boulter, 23, was today sentenced to eight and a half years in jail at the High Court in Auckland. Police say his victim did everything right to survive and should be held up as a hero to other women.

"The actions of Nortessa, her decision making under the stress at that time when her survival instincts kicked in, are a real inspiration to women out there. Just amazing," Detective Inspector Scott Beard said today.

Boulter pleaded guilty in April to nine charges, including unlawfully taking away, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, burglary and injuring with intent to injure. Other charges he faced are suppressed.

Police said Boulter and Montgomerie were in a relationship for six months during 2010. She left him and returned to her home on Great Barrier Island late that year.

In December, Boulter travelled from his home in Riverton, Southland, to Auckland, intending to find and contact Montgomerie.

He sent her abusive Facebook messages, including one telling her he was going to kill himself, which she complained about to police.

Boulter booked a one-way ticket to the island in January last year, using the fake name ''Travis Tetoski'' to avoid police detection.

'I thought I was going to die'

Boulter broke into Montgomerie's house and beat her and her new boyfriend unconscious before dragging the 20-year-old victim into the bush.

He kept her captive for 38 hours. She was barefoot and wearing just her singlet top and pyjama pants.

During that time he threatened her, pulled out her hair and attempted to strangle her.

"My whole body was covered in blood, I thought I was going to die," she told the court today.

Boulter told her he had killed her little brother, who was in the house that night.

On the second day of her captivity, Montgomerie managed to convince Boulter that she would walk with him to the island's wharf and they could escape together.

She convinced him to throw his weapon into a stream.

They were eventually found by searchers while they were walking along a pig-hunting track.

Boulter was arrested, while Montgomerie was reunited with her father and taken by helicopter to Auckland Hospital.

Montgomerie said the ordeal has left her scared to be on her own.

"If someone arrives at my house in the evening or the phone rings, I just freak out and hide. I refuse to answer the door if I'm alone," she said.

Her family said Boulter's eight and a half year sentence was not long enough but the court heard of Boulter's troubled childhood, substance abuse and underlying psychotic illness.

Justice Paul Heath said he accepted there was some link between Boulter's historic disorders and his offending, and set no minimum non-parole period as an incentive for him to confront his demons.