Australian Faked Kidnapping, Which Is Going to Cost Him

Paul Iera wanted to spend night with a woman other than his partner
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2023 6:05 PM CDT
Australian to Pay After Faking Kidnapping on New Year's Eve
A police car in Sydney, New South Wales   (Getty/Julia Gomina)

Australian police spent precisely $16,218 to investigate the kidnapping of Paul Iera. Except that there was no kidnapping, just a half-baked plan to free him up on New Year's Eve. Iera, 35, has been ordered by a court to repay that amount to New South Wales police. He received no jail time, per the BBC, but will have to perform 350 hours of community service. The false report charge could have brought him seven years in prison; reported that the kidnapping, reported just before New Year's Eve festivities began, sparked a broad and urgent search by special officers.

Magistrate Michael Ong was not amused by Iera's crime, calling it "abhorrent," or his reason for committing it. Iera's goal was to spend New Year's Eve with a woman other than his partner. So he sent a text to his partner on Dec. 31 purportedly from his kidnappers, saying that they'd keep Iera "until the morning," per the BBC. After being contacted by Iera's partner, police found him in his hometown of Dapto at 10am Jan. 1, in his van. Iera told police that he'd been taken by unidentified Middle Eastern men, who later released him.

Ong told the defendant he was "motivated by the least compelling reason" the magistrate had ever heard. Iera's lawyer told the court his client wants to "move forward with his life as a productive member of the community." In doing that, he said Iera has the support of his family and, still, his partner. (More Australia stories.)

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