New Zealand Police v Whitmore [2019] NZDC 23935

Published 05 August 2020

Sentencing — intimidation — causing harm by posting a digital communication — psychological violence — family violence — protection order — Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 — Sentencing Act 2002, s 123 — R v Blackwood [2018] NZHC 306 — Butler v Police [2017] NZHC 2972. The defendant appeared for sentence on one charge each of intimidation and causing harm by posting a digital communication. The victim, his daughter, had refused to go home after school one day, instead staying with friends or on the streets. The defendant had sent her voice recordings threatening to kill her and her friend and stating that if she did not stay away from his family he would "slit her throat". With reference to case law, the Judge adopted a starting sentence of seven months' imprisonment. This was uplifted by one month for previous relevant offending. A 20 per cent discount was given for his guilty pleas. The Judge was satisfied the defendant had been held accountable as he had been on remand for over three and a half months. Instead, the focus was on rehabilitative factors to allow the defendant to address his issues and to protect the victim. A sentence of nine months' intensive supervision was imposed, with the condition that the defendant had to attend any treatment or counselling recommended by his probation officer. A protection order was made in favour of the victim. Judgment Date: 25 November 2019. ***Note: names have been changed to meet legal requirements.***