Man's claim he had been kidnapped in Saltney Ferry 'a cry for help' court told

Reporter:

Alan Davies

A major police operation swung into action when a man reported that he had been robbed and kidnapped.

Richard David Williams, 27, of Chester Road East in Shotton, rang 999 and said that he had been robbed of his phone and wallet in Saltney Ferry.

He was then bundled into the boot of a car and carried away, he claimed.

Williams raised the alarm in Flint and a number of police resources were used up investigating his claims.

Uniformed officers, detectives, armed police, dog handlers and others including the intelligence unit were called in.

Police became suspicious at an early stage and he was twice asked if he was telling the truth.

Officers pointed out the implications and the cost of such an important investigation, but twice he insisted he was telling the truth.

At Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold, he received a five month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He was placed on rehabilitation and was ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work.

Williams was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 surcharge.

Williams admitted wasting police time on September 13, along with charges of taking his partner’s Citroen Saxo, no licence and no insurance.

Magistrates said it was a very serious matter which passed the custody threshold.

He had diverted officers from other duties for some three hours and had wasted a lot of resources because of the farce which he made up.

It was described by his lawyer as a cry for help.

Williams suffered from depression, and it was worse in September when he had lost both his father and his grandmother, the court heard.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said just before midnight police received a 999 call from a phone box at Flint.

He reported that he had been robbed at Saltney Ferry and put into the boot of a vehicle.

His phone and wallet had been taken and police who believed that serious offences had been committed alerted officers throughout the county.

Detectives, uniformed officers, traffic patrol officers, armed police, dog handlers and others were

called in.

The intelligence department was called in to look out for potential suspect vehicles.

But information was received that the claim might not be genuine.

The defendant had been seen on CCTV in Flint talking normally to two people, but when he saw the police arrive he began holding his leg and he developed a limp.

He was warned of the scale of the investigation and the resources being used up and twice he was challenged – but he insisted that he was telling the truth.

An officer spent an hour with him taking his “first account” and he even gave descriptions of the men who had attacked him.

But police received information that he had been to his former partner’s home and had driven off in her car.

Later he was arrested after he was found hiding under his bed and he admitted that he had made the whole thing up.

He said that he was fed up of being bullied by two men, was pushed by one of them that night and he wanted to put a stop to it.

The defendant apologised for what he had done.

Victoria Evans, defending, said that her client was emotionally fragile and had unresolved issues that he needed to get a grip of. It was, she said, a cry for help.

She said that it was appreciated that many man hours and resources had been wasted, but it was not a bomb hoax or anything like that.

It was all to do with his emotional wellbeing and he would welcome help from the probation service.

The police were on the ball and realised relative quickly that it was not what it appeared to be initially. They realised it was false.

Probation officer Rachel Woodcock said Williams took responsibility and demonstrated remorse.

The two bereavements he had suffered affected him worse in September.

He had sought help over his emotional wellbeing and had described how sometimes things got to breaking point and he felt “as if his head will explode”.

The defendant could not say why he committed the offence and said that he tried to keep himself occupied.

He had only taken three cans of alcohol and was not intoxicated at the time.

Williams had a good work ethic and had worked for the same firm for six to seven years.

She said if he was jailed then he would lose his accommodation and his employment which could lead to a further decline in his emotional wellbeing.

Email:

alan.davies@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read