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