Two women accused of stabbing an acquaintance before stuffing her in the boot of her own car for 12 hours allegedly visited six different locations – including a McDonalds and a shopping centre – before they were eventually arrested.
Kayley Ketley and Letia Henderson told police they were returning a white Holden Commodore to a car hire company in Colo Vale, in the New South Wales Southern Highlands, when they were pulled over on the Hume Motorway about 11.30am on February 3.
The address on the satellite navigation device they were following was actually leading them to Belanglo State Forest, police facts state.
The state forest, midway between Sydney and Canberra, was notoriously the site where the victims of serial killer Ivan Milat were discovered.
In the boot of the car, police found 24-year-old Nisha Phillips, and officers allege a 30cm kitchen knife was hidden under Ketley’s feet.
Police claim they were alerted that something was amiss when a concerned truckie called 000 alleging the car in front of him was driving erratically and that a hand appeared to be sticking out of a broken tail light.
The teenager is 20 weeks pregnant and was refused bail when she last appeared in court in late February
This map shows the six locations the accused visited and stopped after allegedly stabbing Nisha Phillips at a home in Claymore
They allege Phillips had been stabbed at least seven times – twice in the legs and five times in the shoulder – and that Ketley, 24, and Henderson, 18, had unlawfully detained her for 12 hours and taken her to at least six separate locations while she was stuck in the boot.
Ketley’s bail was formally denied in Campbelltown Local Court on Wednesday despite her lawyer promising to post her grandmother’s $4,000 life savings as a surety.
The 24-year-old is facing charges of with unlawful wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, detaining to gain advantage causing bodily harm and driving a vehicle without [the] owner’s consent, which carry a maximum penalty of 25 years behind bars.
Her co accused, 18-year-old Henderson, will also remain behind bars until at least their next court appearance on April 28. She is 20 weeks pregnant.
The duo are accused of stabbing and kidnapping Phillips on February 2 and 3, 2021.
Kayley Ketley (pictured) remains behind bars despite her lawyer offering a $4,000 surety
Nisha Phillips was allegedly first stabbed inside this townhouse in Claymore before she was forced into the boot of her own car
Court facts reveal the duo allegedly travelled to six different locations after allegedly stabbing Phillips in both legs at a home in Claymore.
Police allege Phillips willingly drove to see Henderson and Ketley before an argument broke out and the latter stabbed the complainant in the left thigh using a red kitchen knife.
Ketley then allegedly stabbed Phillips in the right leg and instructed her to walk to her car, where she was forced into the boot.
From there, the trio drove to a second residential address in Glenfield, where the two accused allegedly dumped the victim and left for four hours.
Ketley’s lawyer Mark Rumore argued in court that during this time, the complainant had four hours to escape or flee, indicating she wasn’t ‘kidnapped’ as the charges state given she chose to remain at the address.
Police allege Henderson (left) helped her friend Kayley Lee Ketley (right) carry out a horrific stabbing and kidnapping
The 24-year-old alleged victim managed to get her hand out the back tail light of the car (pictured) which was seen by a passing truck driver, who called NSW Police
Police claim she spent the time applying first aid to her wounds and trying to bandage herself up.
They allege when Ketley returned to the house she said: ‘Oh, you’re still alive? What a shame. I guess we’re going to have to drag this on. I was hoping you would just give it up’.
Phillips was again put in the boot of the car at knifepoint at about 6.10am, police allege, and driven to Campbelltown mall car park.
CCTV footage was played to the court of the two women driving through the parking garage. Police allege Ketley opened the rear car door and, while leaning over into the boot, stabbed Phillips a further five times in the shoulder and arm.
Henderson’s mother defended her innocence outside of court
She was allegedly told to ‘keep her head down’ while in the boot.
From there, GPS tracking on the car reveals they drove to an address in Ambarvale, where they met with a man and woman who live at the home.
The pair allegedly assisted in retrieving Phillips from the boot after the Holden was reversed into the carport, at which point police facts state the woman brandished a hammer in a threatening manner.
The woman, who Daily Mail Australia has not identified, was later pulled over with police with the hammer in her possession. She told officers she was returning it to a tradesman and was sent on her way. She returned to the address and demanded Ketley and Henderson leave with Phillips.
Police allege the duo continued on their drive and pulled over on the side of the road near Menangle to smoke cannabis. At this time, they allege Henderson or Ketley offered Phillips a drink of water and an ice cream.
Henderson later admitted to wiping blood from the back of the car, near the licence plate, using a black and white tea towel which she dumped on the side of the road, police facts state. Detectives were able to retrieve the cloth.
After leaving the Ambarvale address, police retrieved data which suggested Ketley entered the address of the Belanglo State Forest into her satellite navigation system.
Nisha Phillips (pictured) was allegedly stuffed in the boot of her own Holden Commodore after 12 hours of terror that began at a unit in Claymore, western Sydney, about 10.30pm on Tuesday
The two accused allegedly took Phillips, then bleeding profusely, to this home in Ambarvale
The magistrate said ‘one could only wonder what the purpose of going [there] was’ and questioned whether it was ‘merely to inflict further terror on Phillips’.
While driving and following the directions of the satellite navigation system, the two women took several videos – equating to about five minutes – of themselves singing and dancing to rap music on the drive.
The court heard following their arrest, Ketley claimed she was heading to Colo Vale to return the hire car they were driving. She denied they were ever on the way to the Belanglo forest, which is well south of Colo Vale.
By 11.30am – some 12 hours after the ordeal allegedly began – concerned motorists began calling 000 to report an erratic driver on the Hume Motorway. A truck driver claimed a tail light was broken on the car and that what appeared to be a hand was sticking through, signalling for help.
Henderson’s lawyer later said the family would not make any comment in relation to the charges
The women also were caught on CCTV parking in Campbelltown Mall car park about 6.10am on February 3, where Phillips was allegedly stabbed a further five times
Police eventually pulled over the car and allegedly found the 30cm black kitchen knife at Ketley’s feet.
They also found the alleged victim, still in the boot, with stab wounds to both legs, left shoulder and torso. Her left shoulder was dislocated.
Police claim Ketley’s DNA and fingerprints were on the handle of the knife, and the alleged victim’s blood was on the blade of a second knife.
In Ketley’s initial police interview, she denied knowing Phillips was in the boot of the car and admitted to owning a small amount of marijuana that was seized.
She claimed the woman from the earlier Ambarvale address asked her to pick up the car from Ambarvale Hotel car park and return it to a hire company in Colo Vale.
Henderson was interviewed separately and also claimed she was asked to pick up the car and return it to the Colo Vale hire company.
Latia Henderson (above), 18, revealed she was pregnant at her last court appearance
Phillips reportedly spent four hours alone at a home in Glenfield (pictured), where police claim she tried to bandage her stab wounds
But the 18 year old, who was then in the early stages of pregnancy, allegedly also made partial admissions, including acknowledging that she knew Phillips was in the boot and that she wiped blood from the car and left the tea towel on the side of the road.
Since their arrest on February 3, both women have remained in custody.
Earlier on Wednesday, Henderson’s mother told Daily Mail Australia the women were not guilty.
She clutched the hand of a little girl and was supported by her own mother, Henderson’s grandmother, as she made the defiant claim.
‘We don’t need to make any comments because they’re not guilty,’ she said. Henderson’s grandmother then said they had nothing else to discuss on the matter.
The court heard prosecutors were awaiting electronic interview with the alleged victim and expert medical records before proceeding.
The duo are both scheduled to reappear in Campbelltown Local Court via audio visual link on April 28.
Letia Henderson’s lawyer argues past traumatic experiences have left accused ‘scarred’
At her last appearance, Henderson’s lawyer Gazi Abbas argued his client should be released because she had several favourable prospects, including her age, support from family and the fact she was 14 weeks pregnant.
Mr Abbas added that her alleged involvement in the case is yet to be ascertained and she suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and mental health issues after a childhood filled with trauma.
The court heard Henderson was scarred after the freak death of her baby sister and assassination of her close friend Brayden Dillon.
Henderson’s younger sister Indy Lee was killed in a horror accident in 2016 when the concrete war memorial at Black Head Bowling Club fell on top of her.
An inquest into her death heard another older child was standing on top of the war memorial headstone when it buckled and crushed the three-year-old.
In an emotional tribute to her sister on Instagram, Henderson shared a photo of the toddler’s burial headstone.
‘Half of my heart lives in heaven. I miss you so much angel eyes,’ she wrote.
Just five months after her sister’s death, Henderson’s life was again rocked by the shooting death of Dillon.
The 15-year-old was asleep in bed when Conrad Craig burst through the front door and into his room.
Craig was last year sentenced to at least 30 years jail over the shocking killing.
At the time, Henderson told media: ‘He was a really good friend of mine. It’s so hard to accept the fact that he’s gone.’