Alleged child kidnapper knew his victims, court told

The Melbourne man accused of kidnapping two children during a daylight burglary was known to his victims, a court has heard.

Jiangang Ji appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with two counts of kidnapping, aggravated burglary, armed robbery, false imprisonment, three counts of common law assault and theft of a motor vehicle.

Jiangang Ji, 36, appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.Credit:Facebook

Prosecutor Holly Baxter asked that the magistrate allow investigators extra time to prepare their brief of evidence, due to the amount of evidence that needed to be processed.

“There are at least three different locations where items have been seized and need to be analysed,” Ms Baxter said.

“There are three phones that need to be analysed and that is because the accused and the victims were known to each other and material on those phones needs to be translated. It’s in a foreign language, namely Mandarin.”

Mr Ji appeared remotely from the Melbourne Custody Centre dressed in a white T-shirt and blue medical face mask. He had dark marks under his eyes and sat sobbing before a Mandarin interpreter began translating the hearing. Mr Ji removed his mask briefly to wipe his eyes.

Detectives at the home in Blackburn North where two children were allegedly abducted.Credit:Eddie Jim

Lawyer Sharon Healy said it was her client’s first time in custody and asked that he see a psychiatric nurse due to mental health concerns. Mr Li made no application for bail.

Magistrate Ross Maxted remanded Mr Ji in custody to return to court later this year.

Heavily armed police from the Special Operations Group arrested the 36-year-old at a home in Mitcham about 7.30pm on Monday, more than 10 hours after he allegedly assaulted a woman inside her Blackburn North home. Police allege Mr Ji took the children, aged five and three, and left in the family’s black Mercedes Benz.

It sparked a manhunt across the nearby area before the children were found at a home in Mitcham.

The children’s mother, who was injured in the alleged aggravated burglary, was taken to hospital and has since been released.

Three other people were arrested at the Mitcham property and questioned but later released without charge.

On Wednesday, people at the Mitcham share house said Mr Ji had moved into the property only days earlier and they knew little of what had allegedly occurred on Monday.

One man told Nine News he was one of those arrested and later released and denied knowing the children had been taken.

The landlord said Mr Ji had done renovation work on the Mitcham home before he was arrested.

The matter will return to court later this year.

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