Man who faked own kidnapping fined $800
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Tuesday, August 7 2012
The man who faked his own kidnapping last month in an attempt to extort money from his father was yesterday fined $800 by a Port-of-Spain magistrate for wasting police time.
Ricardo Daniel, 32, along with his alleged accomplice, Dennis Stapleton, 31, both appeared before Magistrate Cheron Raphael in the Third Court.
It was alleged that on July 28, at the Anti-Kidnapping Unit’s office along St Vincent Street, Port- of-Spain, Daniel did wastefully employ police time by falsely indicating that an offence had been committed, namely that he had been kidnapped. He pleaded guilty to this charge.
It was also alleged that on July 24, at the same location, Stapleton did wastefully employ the police’s time by causing businessman James Daniel to make a report that his son had been kidnapped. He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.
Daniel was represented by attorney Fitzgerald Hinds, while Stapleton was represented by attorney Richard Clarke-Wills.
At yesterday’s hearing, Hinds, in a plea of mitigation, begged the court for leniency on behalf of his client, noting that Daniel was remorseful for his actions as it had brought him and his family shame in the public’s eye.
When asked by Raphael why his client committed such an act, Hinds told the court Daniel had no legal or rational logic for his actions, and that it was just one moment in which he exercised poor judgement and allowed “evil spirits” to influence him.
After further submissions from the attorney, Raphael fined Daniel $800.
Clarke-Wills once again made a formal request of disclosure in the matter on behalf of his client, saying this would determine whether his client would adopt a new position when the matter is recalled.
Stapleton’s matter will resume on October 4.
PC Darell Melville is the complainant in the matter.
On July 24, Daniel allegedly staged his own kidnapping along with an accomplice.
Daniel is the son of a Trincity businessman who owns a garage at Old St Joseph Road, Laventille. According to police sources, the victim’s Suzuki vehicle was found abandoned in Barataria, at about midnight on July 24 last.
The alleged kidnappers telephoned relatives of Daniel and called for a ransom of $500,000.
The victim’s father reported the incident to the police.
The officers of the AKU and AGU conducted investigations which led to Stapleton’s arrest. Statements were then taken from both Daniel and Stapleton, and eventually charges were laid against the two men.
According to Section 6(2) of the Criminal Law Act Chamber 10:04, wasteful employment is: “Where a person causes any wasteful employment of the police by knowingly making to any person a false report tending to show that an offence has been committed or to give rise to apprehension for the safety of any persons or property, or tending to show that he has information material to any police enquiry, he is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for six months.”