Teenager’s fake kidnap a‘plea for attention’

2013-10-04 00:00

DURBAN teenager Mary Dilley, who stands accused of staging her own kidnapping, yesterday said her actions were a desperate plea for attention, and to find out if her loved ones still cared for her.

Dilley and co-accused Brandon Wester, both 19, were arrested last month at a home in the Bluff after police responded to a report by Dilley’s mother that her daughter had been kidnapped.

They are both charged with unlawfully and intentionally defeating justice for staging Dilley’s kidnapping.

Dilley allegedly sent her mother cellphone images of her bound and gagged, followed up by a chilling cellphone call from a man notifying her that her daughter’s blood-stained cellphone had been found on Anstey’s beach, near Amanzimtoti.

Dressed in a tight-fitting black-and-beige mini dress for her court appearance in the Durban Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Dilley apologised to “everyone and especially the police” for the trouble she had caused.

She was expected to enter a guilty plea, but the case was postponed to Monday. Her lawyer, from the Legal Aid Board, asked for the postponement to allow her time to consult with Dilley and her own senior Legal Aid team.

Accompanied by a social worker, Dilley seemed relaxed as she chatted and giggled away while waiting outside the courtroom for the magistrate to arrive.

Dilley and Wester did not acknowledge each other until they had to walk into the dock together.

Speaking to The Witness, Dilley apologised profusely and said she did not mean any harm.

This mother of a four-year-old baby said her parents had gone through a divorce. This, coupled with the fact that she and her boyfriend had recently broken up, affected her very deeply, she said. One of her best friends had also stopped talking to her.

“I felt abandoned by everyone and felt like I had nothing and that they didn’t care about me.”

She said she then stayed at Wester’s place for a few days and switched off her cellphone.

“Then everyone was asking where I am and why I’m not talking. So, I decided to take a fake picture of me being tied up. Just to see what my friends would say and to see if they actually care.”

She did not think things would blow up the way they did. “I’ve realised what I’ve done and I’m so sorry, especially to the police who had to spend all those resources looking for me. I wish I didn’t do it. I realise now I was wrong.”

Dilley said she is trying to get her life together and is planning to study and look for a job. “I’d like to make a difference in the world one day and not become involved in crime,” she added.

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