Man convicted under new cyber bullying legislation

18-year-old Jayden Thomas Brian Fallows may be the first person prosecuted in Dunedin for breaching the Harmful Digital Communications Act.
18-year-old Jayden Thomas Brian Fallows may be the first person prosecuted in Dunedin for breaching the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

A young Dunedin man who threatened to send pictures of his 16-year-old former girlfriend naked to her mother has been prosecuted under cyber bullying legislation which was introduced last year.

18-year-old Jayden Thomas Brian Fallows may be the first person prosecuted in Dunedin for breaching the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

Fallows appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Dunedin District Court yesterday and admitted posting text and Skype messages with the intention of causing serious emotional stress to the victim.

He was convicted and remanded on bail for sentence later this month.

The court was told the victim had sent pictures of herself naked to the defendant's cellphone during her two-year relationship with him.

But the relationship ended acrimoniously last December and Fallows made several threats to the young woman during a text message and Skype argument with her on January 26, police prosecutor Tim Hambleton said.

The defendant was upset about the victim seeing a new boyfriend.

He tried to pressure her into revealing the new boyfriend's identity and the nature of the relationship and sent several digital communications which caused the victim significant distress.

In the messages, Fallows threatened to harm the new boyfriend, to kill himself and to send the photos of the naked girl to her mother.

The victim was so alarmed by the nature of the posts she immediately contacted police, Mr Hambleton said.

When police spoke to him, the defendant admitted what he had done.

He said he had behaved stupidly and was ashamed of his actions.

He said he regretted causing distress to the victim and assured police the images of the victim had been deleted.

Counsel Anne Stevens said the victim was continuing to text the defendant but he was not responding.

He was having counselling.

- Otago Daily Times

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