Trinidad : Boy who faked own kidnapping to know fate Monday

Posted on Wednesday 14 December 2005

By Exilus Deceyon

Port of Spain, 14 Dec. 05 [AlterPresse] --- Outraged and incensed at the absurdity of the act, a magistrate Reynold Waldropt yesterday deferred the sentencing of 14-year-old Lyndon Gooding, who faked his own kidnapping last week.

“If you were a big man you would have already been in prison,” Waldropt told him.
Gooding had pleaded guilty to the charge of the wasteful employment of police time on Monday.

Waldropt condemned the act, as it had traumatised Gooding’s mother as well the nation.
Waldropt ordered a probation officer’s report, as well as a medical history of the Form Three student of the Trinity College (East) and a copy of his school file.

In a plea of mitigation, however, defence counsel Amita Goberdhan said Gooding was an academic achiever at school.

He also said the boy was a minor with no previous convictions, and lived at home with his mother, as his father had left them.

Gooding gave a statement to police which said that he did not want any money, but only attention, Goberdhan added.

Goberdhan also said that his client regularly attended church and produced a letter from Gooding’s pastor outlining his character.

Goberdhan recommended that Gooding be reprimanded and discharged, as incarceration in a prison facility would not do him any good.

“Putting him in prison with hardened criminals would label him a criminal at a tender age,” Goberdhan said in an interview afterwards.

Gooding will return to court for sentencing on Monday.

He reportedly told investigators he was kidnapped last Tuesday by a man pretending to be a taxi driver.

He also told investigators the kidnappers released him on Thursday, after they saw a television report and panicked.

His mother, Leela Charles, had pleaded in the newscast for her son’s release, after receiving a ransom demand of $100,000. [ed apr 14/12/2005 13:30]