Saturday, October 09, 2010

Putting a dollar value on violence

I have a bit of a dilemma, Dear Reader. I have been contacted by a Reputable Businessman who has been unfairly treated by another gentleman and seeks (in)appropriate recompense.

The other party is a dubious character of some ill-repute around this city, a shady businessman known as Marky Sales (not his real name).

Now the Aggrieved Party and Marky Sales had a verbal agreement about the provision of some goods and services which, in essence, were to be paid in full upon completion of said services.

The Aggrieved Party did not have a sales contract or written agreement with Mr Sales, because Marky gave his word. I know you are asking what could possibly go wrong with this gentlemanly arrangement...?

Obviously, everything!

The Reputable Businessman never received a cent from Marky who, subsequently, wound up or otherwise ceased directorship in all 39 of his companies. Marky has never made any effort to pay or otherwise come to an arrangement regarding this particular debt (or any other debts of which there are many, as far as I am aware).

I have had some previous dealings with Marky on another matter where I discovered he lied, by omission, about his identity in order to gain credit. It seems he's recently taken to using his middle name when filling out documents. However, that has no bearing on this particular tale apart from the part where Marky and I have already met face to face on several occasions.

So, a suitably disheartened Reputable Businessman has resorted to scouring the Yellow Pages listings under 'D' for Dodgy Deeds or some other such method, which explains the call I received.

Reputable Businessman wishes someone to pay Marky a visit at home and 'have words' with him. To be more specific, Reputable Businessman asked what the going rate was for breaking someone's leg.

You'll be pleased to know, I'm sure, that I hastily assured the Reputable Businessman that I am not in the business of breaking bones as this sort of activity may seriously jeapordise my yearly PI licence renewal, but this did not really dissuade him as I had hoped.

I have agreed to meet the Reputable Businessman at my offices on Monday morning to discuss this matter in more detail and will give him some perfectly legal avenues to explore. However, I feel that these alternatives don't really satisfy his need for punitive damages to be levied against Marky.

Obviously this is not 1960s London and I'm not a Kray so this sort of activity is not exactly commonplace.

But more to the point, totally hypothetically of course, what is a fair and reasonable rate to charge?

Now, as it turns out, I happen to know someone who was once offered a job along these very same lines around 8 or 9 years ago and, at that time, was offered $5000 to do the deed.

Allowing for the rate of inflation, that's around $6332 in today's terms.

What do you think is a fair rate for breaking someone's leg?


  1. I understand the misplaced ideas of the community about what we do as investigators.

    I had one of my friends who after a very messy break up wanted me to get my hands on his ex's psychologists therapy reports to help him in court with the division of assets, after much explaining I eventually manged to point out to him that me doing such a job for him could very well cost me my licence and more then likely my freedom (I do not want to break and enter to go snooping through someones files), and that if he needed those files then deal with it through his lawyer for propper legal advice and acquisition.

  2. Yes, I love those requests that go along the lines of "I want you to obtain some document which you have no authority to access and otherwise is not permissible by law..."

    I swear people watch far too much TV or maybe just think we are all crooked.

  3. Turns out Reputable Businessman was open to the voice of reason and has changed his mind about the leg-breaking.

    At least for now.

  4. Curiously, this post from October 2010 has recently been quite popular with readers some 2 years later.

    I wonder why that is?

  5. Still a mystery why this particular blog post, nearly 3 years later, has almost 5 times the views as the next most popular post.

  6. Given that what he's asking could cost you your profession, we'd have to take into account the cost of training in a new profession, and then recompense for training in your current profession. We'd also need to take into account the years you've worked to get to your level of expertise, and funding those years while training and working in a profession new to you.

    But it's also going to, potentially, cost you your freedom for a number of years. We'd need to take those years into account.

    Let's start with the freedom section, since that's the quickest and easiest to calculate.

    The two potential crimes that this could be are:
    Wounding with intent and Injury with Intent

    Wounding with Intent (NZ Crimes Act 1961 - Section 188 (1)) carries a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding 14 years.
    Injury with Intent (NZ Crimes Act 1961 - Section 189 (1)) carries a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.

    As these are two different crimes, there's the potential for being charged for both and imprisoned for the maximum amount of time, 24 years.

    Let's not assume that your pay will increase. Assuming your yearly income is at the low end of the scale, at about 45,000 a year. Alone, that's 1,080,000NZ.

    Now we're looking for a different... No. Fuck it, I have work to do.

    Price for something like this would have to be about 2,5000,000.

  7. The 2,500,000 would be in AUD, under the assumption that NZD would be a defunct currency after a 24 year imprisonment, due to NZ being subsumed into Australia by 2018.