Man who trolled Bennett over Wicked Campers says his daughter has been threatened

By Solbin Kang

The man who trolled Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett over her charge against the sexist slogans says he's had threats made against his daughter since he posted his comments.

John Lehmann wrote on Ms Bennett's Facebook page yesterday that a "bit of sexual violence never hurt anyone ... LOL", sparking outrage from anti-violence campaigners.

He has had a barrage of angry messages from strangers, some more extreme than others.

Wicked Campers - 100% offensive
Wicked Campers dumped from DoC list
Outrage after Paula Bennett told a 'bit of sexual violence never hurt anyone'

"I had one that sent me a photo of my daughter and said 'let's try some abuse on her'.

"Those are the nutters bringing your kids into it," he told the Herald.

Mr Lehmann, an Auckland resident, said his comments were "taken out of context" and admitted it was tasteless and he didn't in "any way advocate violence".

"It was a joke, just a wind up," he said.

He said he wrote "LOL", - laugh out loud - to show it was a joke.

However he said the actions of Ms Bennett singling out his comment on her Facebook page was "quite malicious".

"She set the population against me and is trying to get political mileage," he said.

While he received negative messages, he's had many say the actions of the associate tourism minister were "tacky".

"A vast number of people were horrified a member of public was used as a target."

He said while he found the slogans on the Wicked Campers vans disgusting, it was up to the council and holiday park owners to stop the vans from parking in their properties.

This post from John Lehmann deserves to be reposted. It speaks for itself "Bit of sexual violence never hurt anyone Paula. Your should try a bit .Lol ."

Posted by Paula Bennett on Saturday, March 19, 2016

"They [Government] seems to think they can run the country with legislation and regulation by fining people and penalising people," he said.

He hoped the incident would "die a natural death".

Mr Lehmann's comments yesterday have been met with a number of unimpressed Facebook users who support Ms Bennett.

"This guy needs rehab now," Lani Lopez posted.

Andrew Hunt wrote: "That's appalling and totally unacceptable. PS -- delighted you are having a crack at the camper van slogans -- have always been astounded that they can get away with that crap."

Victims' rights advocate Louise Nicholas described the man's comments as "appalling".

"I put it to this guy, if you've got female members in your family and something bad happened to them, would you think that was okay? You come and walk in my shoes for one day."

She said it was "very, very rare" for Kiwi men to think sexual violence was acceptable.

"This guy is one out of the packet," she said.

"What angers me is people like him hiding behind a computer. That's a sign of weakness. If you have something to say, come and say it to our face. That's the challenge I put to him."

Mrs Nicholas described the slogans on the Wicked campers vans as "misogynistic".

"Why haven't they taken the slogans off them? We are a country that doesn't want it. They have to be removed," she said.

She commended Ms Bennett for speaking out against the slogans.

"Thank you. It needs to come from the higher end but as a country, we need to get behind her and others in stopping people that say sexual violence is okay. It's not good enough in New Zealand."

- NZ Herald

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