A North Canterbury businessman is fighting charges of kidnapping and assault after tackling two alleged burglars at his Kaiapoi premises.
Clemence Drilling owner Dave Clemence was arrested after the April 8 incident, during which he and several employees tackled two men believed to have stolen diesel from the Smith St site.
Clemence declined to comment yesterday, saying he did not want to “pervert the course of justice”.
However, he told the Northern Outlook newspaper last month he could not understand why he had been charged.
He said he took the men to the Kaiapoi police station on April 8 and did not know how the pair had been injured.
“It’s unbelievable. Kidnapping? We dropped them off to the police,” Clemence said.
If the alleged burglars were assaulted (beyond restraint) then I can understand charges being laid. But the kidnapping charge seems bizarre.
Detective Sergeant Rex Barnett said the two men told police they had been kidnapped and assaulted by Clemence, the paper reported.
Police considered the injuries to be serious and “consistent with the claims of assault”, he said.
The men required treatment at hospital.
Yesterday, Barnett said a kidnapping charge could include “just detaining someone”.
But if you have caught them in the middle of a burglary, then surely it is legal detention? Otherwise a store security officer who detains a shoplifter would also be a kidnapper.
UPDATE: This is only second hand, but have heard a whisper that the “burglars” may have been out into a car boot. If that is the case, then that could explain why the Police laid kidnapping charges. Also I understand that the injuries the “burglars” had were reasonably severe. It will be interesting to see the evidence when it gets to court.
UPDATE2: I’ve also now heard suggestions that the gap between detaining the “burglars” and handing them over to the Police might be measured in hours, not minutes. I don’t know the facts, but if there was indeed a gap of hours, then the Police actions seem much more reasonable.Tags: Police