A judge has warned parents whose children are being abused, threatened or intimidated not to take the law into their own hands, after he gave a father a good behaviour bond for assaulting a man who was threatening his daughter.
The harassment from the young man bore similarities to the case of Auckland teenager Christie Marceau, police prosecutor Glen Lane said.
Christie, 18, was killed by Akshay Chand while he was out on bail on a charge of assaulting and kidnapping her.
Judge Greg Davis said contacting the police was the only correct way of dealing with such crimes and they would resolve the matter.
Judge Davis made the comments when he convicted a man in Whangarei District Court this week on a charge of assault and sentenced him to come up if called upon within six months.
The judge said this was effectively a good behaviour bond and if the father stayed out of trouble in that time no further action would be taken.
The man's lawyer, Arthur Fairley, told the court the assault occurred after the man's daughter was threatened and abused via text by her ex-boyfriend.
Mr Fairley said the girl was 15 when she started going out with the older man, but he continually harassed her and her family after she ended the relationship.
He said the family had tried for several months to resolve the matter, including twice discussing the issue with the man's parents, but the abuse and threats continued.
Mr Fairley said the father was going to take the matter to police on the day of the assault, but a text from the young man to him making graphic threats to the daughter saw him make his big mistake.
"That was a step too far," Mr Fairley said.
"It's not a man standing here saying he did nothing wrong. He accepts he made errors of judgment and that he should be punished, but here's a family man who tries to do the best by way of his family, particularly by way of his daughter."
Mr Lane said the threats were very similar to ones made to Christie Marceau. Once police became involved the young man was arrested and a judge remanded him in custody, such were the nature of the threats.
Judge Davis said the man should have gone to police earlier with his concerns and not taken the law into his own hands.
"That's the worrying aspect of this," he said. Judge Davis said there were proper ways of dealing with such a situation and that meant involving the police.
"The answer might have been to involve the police three months earlier, that may have nipped the matter in the bud," the judge said.
"When the matter was brought to the attention of the court the alleged offender was kept in custody."
For more articles from this region, go to NORTHERN ADVOCATE