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Mother offers $1298 bribe to Facebook users to take blame for son’s high-speed driving under influence of drugs

The mother took to social media to find someone in exchange for money who would 'take the rap' for her 24-year-old-son
UPDATED JUL 29, 2020
(Che Siirak/ South Wales Police)
(Che Siirak/ South Wales Police)

A mother from York Place, Barry, offered a bribe of $1298 (£1,000) on Facebook to anyone who would “take the rap” to protect her son after he was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Tracey Latham’s son Che Siirak was arrested after he drove at 80mph in a 30mph zone to escape officers.

The 56-year-old took to social media to find someone in exchange for money who took the blame on behalf of her 24-year-old son. “Is there anybody out there willing to take the rap on my behalf?” she wrote on Facebook. Judge Jeremy Jenkins told Latham: “You have been watching far too much television.”

Cardiff Crown Court heard how Siirak was driving Latham’s Ford Fiesta at high speed before dumping it in Rumney, Cardiff. The court also heard the young man was driving “under the influence of cocaine and cannabis” and was arrested after a high-speed police chase through the city’s St Mellons and Trowbridge areas.

The chase reportedly happened around two years ago when officers were pursuing the Ford Fiesta in the early hours of December 29, 2018. The vehicle was registered in Latham’s name and was found abandoned in Rumney. Prosecutor David Pinnell said: “The defendant’s son was arrested a short distance away and he was intoxicated. A search of the car uncovered cash and class A drugs. Mr Siirak told police he had an argument with his girlfriend in Llanrumney and that she had stormed out and taken the vehicle. He denied being the driver.”

Pinnell also stated that in January 2019 when Siirak’s mother Latham was sent a letter as she was the registered owner of the car asking who the driver was at the time, she provided the name of a man called Colin Chapman. She also reportedly provided a mobile phone number. The matter was then investigated that led to the arrest of Chapman and a woman named Leanne Board who had been in contact with Latham.

“It emerged that there had been a deliberate and persistent attempt to get Miss Board to arrange for somebody to take responsibility and was being offered £1,000,” the prosecutor said. “There was an offer for £500 before going to court and £500 after the perjury had been committed.”
Pinnell added that no action was taken against Board and Chapman was also released. While the mother Latham accepted her fault and admitted to distort the course of justice. It was also revealed before the court that she had 15 previous convictions for 25 offenses, including drug, dishonesty, and driving matters. Adam Sharp, mitigating, said: “The defendant pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

Judge Jenkins told Latham, “Your husband is in very poor health and you are his full-time carer. If it wasn’t for him, you would be going straight into custody today.” The mother was awarded a jail sentence for eight months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work. The court has also asked Latham to pay $454 (£350) costs and a $181 (£140) surcharge.