A Christchurch man who posted a naked photo of his ex-girlfriend on social media because he was "unhappy" about their relationship coming to an end has been sentenced to eight months home detention.

Thomas James Burborough, 28, was sentenced on charges of posting a harmful digital communication and possession of cannabis for supply.

Judge Tony Couch said that Burborough had been in a relationship with a woman. While together they had each taken intimate photos of one other.

Judge Couch said the defendant was unhappy when the relationship ended, so he sent the victim messages threatening to post intimate photos of her on social media if she did not meet him.


On June 16 the victim complained to police about Burborough. But as she was being interviewed by police, he posted a naked photo of her on Instagram.

Judge Couch said what Burborough had done had been "highly distressing to the victim".

He said the distress was "aggravated by the name [of the victim] you attached to the photo".

Three days later police searched Burborough's house and found 400g of high-grade cannabis, separated into nine "deal bags", and scales for weighing the drug.

Judge Couch said the defendant admitted that he had bought the drug to sell.

The judge said that posting the photo online had been a "gross breach of trust", as it had been taken "in the course of an intimate relationship".

The judge said given the fact that the defendant had "expressly told her the photo was online", it was clear it was posted "with the express purpose of humiliating her and causing her distress".

Judge Couch began with a sentence of 22 months for the two offences, adding two months because of the pre-meditation around the drug offending.


However a five-month discount was given for Burborough's guilty pleas, and two one-month reductions for his remorse and lack of previous criminal history.

Arriving at a final possible jail sentence of 15 months, the judge imposed an eight-month term of home detention on the basis that it was an "appropriate remedy" for the offending.