An Australian man who faked his own kidnapping earlier this year in order to go out on a tryst with his mistress will avoid serving any jail time but that did not protect him from the tongue-lashing of a judge.
According to a report, 36-year-old Paul Iera of New South Wales slipped away from his girlfriend on New Year’s Eve last year and the woman soon received text messages that he had been kidnapped over a bike, 9 News reported.
The outlet reported Iera told the woman he supposedly loved that he had to leave their home to see his “financial guy.”
Instead, he spent the night with another woman who sent his worried girlfriend a text message in order to give him an alibi.
Per police, a message the girlfriend received read, “Thank you for sending Paul to me, now payback is a ***** bye bye.”
The message added, “We will keep him with us until the morning wen (sic) he gives us his bike we call it square.”
‘Kidnapped’ Paul Iera allegedly #faked his own #abduction and #ransom demand so he could secretly spend New Year’s Eve with his lover and not his partner.#kidnapped #Kidnapping #Wollongong #Australia #Australian pic.twitter.com/VQw54fYETJ
— Brandi Worlds News (@BrandiSaari) January 13, 2023
Iera’s girlfriend panicked and called police in the New South Wales city of Dapto.
Meanwhile, Iera spent the night with his mistress while authorities frantically searched for him.
The following morning on New Year’s Day at around 10 a.m., Iera was headed back home when his vehicle was stopped by officers.
Per 9 News, officers expected to find Iera kidnapped but he was with his mistress. An investigation into the matter blew up the alibi and also saw Iera make false statements to detectives.
He reportedly told them he had been held up by Middle Eastern men but that he was set free.
Unfortunately for Vera, police followed up on the case. Thanks to some camera footage and a story that did not seem all that plausible, he was arrested and charged with making false statements with the intent to subject another person to investigation.
He faced up to seven years in prison but was shown leniency by a judge who put him in a three-year rehabilitation program and ordered him to reimburse police for the man hours that were wasted searching for him — which were estimated to be between 100 and 200, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported.
The sum the court came up with for those hours was $16,218.11.
Magistrate Michael Ong scolded Iera for “abhorrent behavior.”
“You are at a point where you need to make a choice,” the judge told the unfaithful man. “You either take a step back, look at yourself and your circumstances and move towards furthering yourself, or alternatively you will move into a situation where imprisonment will be a very realistic option.”
According to an attorney for Iera, the man has made “progress” in his work to become a better person since his arrest.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.