Man Fakes Abduction for Affair, Ordered to Pay Police Costs

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In an unorthodox turn of events, a man who deliberately fabricated a story of his own abduction to enjoy a clandestine New Year’s Eve date with his mistress has been ordered to remunerate the police force for the considerable efforts they expended in his search.

Paul Iera stood before the judge in Wollongong Local Court, NSW, last Tuesday, where he was sentenced to a three-year community corrections order. Iera had previously confessed to falsely alarming the authorities.

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Iera, aged 35, had been at the center of a desperate and wide reaching investigation led by specialized police units after his significant other reported his disappearance mere minutes before the arrival of New Year’s Eve last year.

Officers were under the belief that Iera had been abducted from Dombarton, situated in NSW’s Illawarra region, south of Sydney, until they found him safe and sound around 10am the following day in Dapto, close by.

The Dapto resident later faced charges of making a false accusation with the intention to make a person the subject of a police investigation – a legal contravention that invites a maximum term of seven years imprisonment upon conviction.

The court required Iera, as part of his community corrections order, to dedicate 350 hours to community service and to pay the hefty sum of $16,218 to the NSW government, to reimburse for the resources committed by the police towards his search.

Iera also received a concurrent 18-month community corrections order on unrelated charges of possessing an unauthorized firearm and a forbidden weapon without the proper permits, as well as illegal ammunition.

The court further penalized the self-employed tradesman by revoking his driving privileges for half a year, and imposed an additional fine of $380 for a separate offence of operating a vehicle with an illicit substance in his system.

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