A former Hurricanes rugby player representative has escaped charges over an alleged kidnapping and bashing after police came up short on evidence for a trial.

Former prop Mike Edwards, 38, was charged in August with kidnapping convicted murderer Michael John Sneller, beating him unconscious at gunpoint and torching his car before leaving him for dead.

Sneller, who is back in prison for methamphetamine offending, was jailed for life for the 1983 murder of Lower Hutt businessman Robert Cancian in what was described as “a classic gangland burglary, beating and killing”.

He told police he was beaten with a shotgun before being dumped, unconscious in a stolen station wagon on February 5 this year.

But at a depositions hearing in Lower Hutt District Court today, police said they were unable to offer any evidence “due to circumstances that have occurred recently”.

TV One reported that police had not ruled out re-laying charges against Edwards, who was nicknamed “Tyson”, and played 11 games for the Hurricanes and 81 for Wellington.