Kidnap pair ‘remorseful’

2013-10-08 00:00

A DURBAN teenager and a friend accused of staging a fake kidnapping yesterday left court without exchanging a word after being handed down a suspended sentence and firm advice from the magistrate to seek counselling.

Both had family members at court to support them yesterday.

Mary Dilley (19) and co-accused Brandon Wester (19) from the south of Durban, were sentenced to a R3 000 fine or six months’ imprisonment, suspended for five years. They pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of obstruction of justice, after staging Dilley’s kidnapping. Magistrate Lily Mpungose also declared the pair unfit to possess firearms for five years. She advised that the two friends also seek counselling.

Dilley was arrested at Wester’s home at Bays­water Road on September 17 after the police responded to a report by Dilley’s mother that her daughter had been kidnapped.

According to Wester’s affidavit, he followed Dilley’s plan on September 16 to fake her own kidnapping because Dilley wanted to scare her mother.

He helped to tie Dilley up and took pictures with her cellphone. “I then recorded a voice message with her phone, calling myself Ricardo and said I found the phone covered with blood and lying on the beach,” the statement read.

Then he took the pictures and the recording and sent them to Dilley’s best friend via BBM, who sent them to Dilley’s mother.

Dilley maintains that she staged the kidnapping because she wanted to see if her family still cared about her.

Legal aid attorney N. Zuma said her clients were remorseful and were first-time offenders.

She said Dilley was unemployed, single, and a mother of a four-year-old child and understands how serious the offence is.

Wester is also single, is employed and earns R500 a week and was “very remorseful”, Zuma said.

She told the court Wester thought he “was just helping a friend”.

Although state prosecutor Charlene Govender said she took into consideration the offenders’ age and guilty plea, she argued that the matter should not go unpunished.

She said the two wasted the state’s resources to investigate a crime that never took place and both have hurt their parents, because they were raised in homes where they are loved.

She said she hopes that they have learned a valuable lesson and refrain from such “juvenile behaviour”.

Mpungose said: “Being loved by your parents is not something you impose but something you earn. And it’s a duty to love your children as parents.”

She said Dilley and Wester have sent a wrong message to other youngsters, and advised them to find other means of dealing with depression and open up to their parents.

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