KZN teen fakes own kidnap

2013-09-26 11:07

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Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal mother’s frantic bid to get help for her 19-year-old daughter, who she believed had been kidnapped, eventually led police to discover that the young woman had allegedly faked her own kidnapping.

Before she contacted police, her distraught mother had received cellphone images of her child bound and gagged, and then 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.

Mary Dilley and Brandon Wester, also 19, were arrested by police last week at a home in Islandview Road on Durban’s Bluff after police responded to a report by Dilley’s mother that her daughter had been kidnapped.

The couple have since been charged with defeating the ends of justice and will appear again in the Durban Magistrate’s Court later this month. They are currently in custody and have been granted Legal Aid representation.

Task team

Shortly after Dilley’s mother reported the matter to the Brighton Beach police, a specialised task team was assembled and various hi-tech tracking and tracing techniques were utilised to search for Dilley.

Brighton Beach police spokesperson Captain Louise le Roux said police were concerned and feared the worst.

“We put all our available resources into the case because we feared she could have been murdered or seriously injured because of the call that claimed her phone had been found covered in blood. Our members worked through, using cellphone technology to trace her cellphone and thereby her whereabouts,” said Le Roux.

The Witness has learnt through a reliable source, that Dilley, who has a 4-year-old son, had spent Saturday 15 September partying at a Bluff nightclub, where she allegedly met with Wester. There they exchanged phone numbers and their BlackBerry pins. The couple contacted each other a day later and arranged to meet. Wester allegedly fetched Dilley and took her to his rented home in Islandview Road, where he introduced her to members of his family. Wester lived in a room in the basement of the house. It is believed the plot to fake the kidnapping was hatched there in an “attention-seeking” attempt.

Dilley was apparently bound and tied with ropes and bandages, and even allegedly had black polish applied to her eye to make it appear as if she had been injured. Pictures of her in that condition were then taken and sent to her mother. The call to her mother, about the blood-covered phone being found, was also made from the Islandview Road home.


Police managed to track Dilley’s location from her cellphone activities and arranged to meet with her based on information supplied by her on a website, where she allegedly met people by appointment.

“Reservist Constable Jacque Stephen of SAPS Montclair tracked the phone. He managed to make contact with the alleged kidnapped victim, who answered the phone herself. Without knowing that she was talking to the police, she agreed to meet with her caller. She was subsequently arrested. Her alleged accomplice was traced and arrested at his place of employment,” said Le Roux.

Le Roux said the matter was seen in a serious light because of the waste of police resources.

“It is regrettable that people make false crime reports like this without considering the consequences of police resources being wasted. These resources could have been spent on addressing real crime. It is our responsibility, however, to accept each and every complaint with seriousness which we do, and did in this case,” said Le Roux.

- In October last year, Leon van Rensburg, from New Germany, Durban, was fined R30 000 or four years in jail after he was found guilty of perjury and defeating the ends of justice. His story unravelled after he sent a chilling text message to his 15-year-old daughter that read: “help, hijacked”. His car was found abandoned more than 200km from his office. It subsequently emerged that van Rensburg had not been hijacked. Instead, he had driven to Underberg and stayed at a backpackers’ lodge. He admitted that his dramatic tale of being hijacked and kidnapped had been a pack of lies and pleaded guilty in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court.

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