New Zealand Police v Jerz [2020] NZDC 3270

Published 08 June 2020

Sentencing — application for discharge without conviction — posting a harmful digital communication — revenge porn — email — WhatsApp — Waine v R [2017] NZCA 287 — George v R [2014] NZHC 1725 — Sentencing Act 2002, s 106 — Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015. The defendant applied for a discharge without conviction after pleading guilty to one charge of posting harmful digital communications. He had a short affair with the victim and after she called the relationship off he sent her partner explicit pictures and videos of the pair engaging in sexual acts. As a result both the victim and her partner were extremely upset. Their relationship ended and the victim was anxious about who else saw the pictures and videos. The Judge regarded the offending as serious, mitigated by the defendant's cooperation with police, clean record, guilty plea, and willingness to make amends. There were no concrete consequences the defendant would suffer as a result of a conviction. As the seriousness of the offending was not outweighed by the consequences of a conviction the application for a discharge without conviction was declined. The Judge believed imprisonment was not an appropriate sentence and adopted a starting point of 150 hours' community work. This was reduced to 100 hours for the defendant's mitigating conduct. The defendant was also ordered to pay the victim $2000 in emotional harm reparation. Judgment Date: 26 February 2020.