On­line dat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence goes bad for Win­ter­ton man, ends in rob­bery

Bail hear­ing set over to Thurs­day for wo­man ac­cused of lur­ing vic­tim in Car­bon­ear

The Compass - - NEWS - BY NICHOLAS MERCER AND AN DREW ROBIN­SON TC MEDIA ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

It started out like any other first date be­tween two peo­ple in the 21st cen­tury. Man meets wo­man in some on­line fo­rum and they agree to meet for the first time.

That’s what hap­pened when a 26-year-old man from Win­ter­ton agreed to meet a 30-year-old wo­man in Car­bon­ear early last Tues­day on what was sup­posed to be their first date.

The cou­ple drove to a park on O’Driscoll’s Lane af­ter he picked her up and that’s when things took a turn for the worse.

Al­legedly, a trio of men ap­proached the ve­hi­cle bran­dish­ing a knife and de­manded money and other items from the vic­tim. They got what they were look­ing for and also stole the man’s car.

He got away from his at­tack­ers and re­ported the in­ci­dent to po­lice at ap­prox­i­mately 1 a.m. that morn­ing. He was not in­jured in the crime.

“He was shaken and he was up­set,” Har­bour Grace RCMP spokesman Cpl. Brent Hil­lier said. “He feared for her safety.”

At this point, the Har­bour Grace de­tach­ment called in help from nearby de­tach­ments in Bay Roberts and Holy­rood, as well as po­lice dog ser­vices.

Ini­tially, Jen­nine Porter, the man’s date, was be­lieved to be a vic­tim as well. While he was talk­ing to po­lice, the Win­ter- ton man kept re­ceiv­ing text mes­sages ask­ing for an undis­closed amount of money

Co­in­ci­den­tally, that’s how po­lice were able to track the sus­pects.

“We were ping­ing the cell phone be­cause texts were com­ing back and forth,” said Hil­lier.

Po­lice found the car a short while af­ter on a dirt road in Car­bon­ear.

“Two in­di­vid­u­als were hid­ing in the woods, two were not there and the weapon used was there,” said Hil­lier.

Through the course of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, po­lice later be­lieved the fe­male was not a vic­tim and had lured her date to the park in or­der to rob him.

“We were able to de­ter­mine that she had con­spired with the other three in­di­vid­u­als for this to have hap­pened,” Hil­lier noted.

The sus­pects

Porter, Troy Dob­bin, Adam Robert Stagg and a 15-year-old male youth are charged with ex­tor­tion, rob­bery, as­sault with a weapon, pos­ses­sion of a weapon for a dan­ger­ous pur­pose and con­spir­acy to com­mit a crime.

Porter’s bail hear­ing was set over Fri­day un­til Sept. 8. The 15-year-old youth was re­leased on an un­der­tak­ing with an Oct. 5 court date, while Stagg, 33, con­sented to re­mand cus­tody un­til his next court ap­pear­ance on Sept. 13. Dob­bin was de­nied bail Fri­day and will be back in court Oct. 5.

Stagg and Porter were ver­bally at each other’s throats for much of last Thurs­day while wait­ing for lawyers to sort through out­stand­ing is­sues and ap­pear be­fore the judge. Those ex­changes got in­tense at times, re­duc­ing Porter to tears.

Early in the day, Porter looked at the men in the pris­oner’s box and said, “Some­one with no pri­ors put you guys up to it, re­ally?” Later, she asked if any­one else felt ashamed, to which Stagg replied that he did.

As he en­tered Har­bour Grace Pro­vin­cial Court in the morn­ing, Stagg, 33, re­peat­edly spoke harshly of him­self.

“I’m an id­iot,” he could be heard say­ing mul­ti­ple times as he and Dob­bin were es­corted in­side by an RCMP of­fi­cer.

In the af­ter­noon, Stagg sug­gested there were two other peo­ple in the area that night. This up­set Porter, who dis­puted what he said. They also talked about po­ten­tial ev­i­dence in the case and what it could mean for them.

An RCMP of­fi­cer at one point told them they had to keep quiet, point­ing out they were not sup­posed to have con­tact with each other. This ul­ti­mately did not put an end to fur­ther ex­changes.

The listed home ad­dresses for the three adult sus­pects are lo­cated on Scar­let Ridge in Car­bon­ear — a short dis­tance from the park where the rob­bery took place.

ANDREW ROBIN­SON/TC MEDIA

Adam Robert Stagg and Troy Dob­bin were es­corted into Har­bour Grace Pro­vin­cial Court Thurs­day for their first ap­pear­ance on charges of ex­tor­tion, armed rob­bery, as­sault with a weapon, pos­ses­sion of a weapon for a dan­ger­ous pur­pose and con­spir­acy to com­mit a crime.

ANDREW ROBIN­SON/TC MEDIA

Jen­nine Porter is ac­cused of lur­ing her date to a park in Car­bon­ear, where armed men sub­se­quently robbed him.

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