A woman who subjected an ex-partner to five months of threatening psychological abuse with online stalking and threats is fighting to keep her name secret.
The 28-year-old was sentenced to three months of community detention which will curfew her at home most of every weekend, and she must pay the victim $1000 for emotional harm reparations.
But Christchurch District Court Judge Mark Callaghan said her situation did not amount to extreme hardship and refused to suppress her name. He also refused to discharge her without conviction, which her defence had applied for.
At the end of the sentencing, defence counsel Ethan Huda sought continued interim suppression so that appeal papers could be filed in the High Court. Judge Callaghan granted the suppression.
Crown prosecutor Ged Alloway opposed the final suppression order because he said it was in the public interest for the media to report cases where offenders had sought to hide their identity online.
Huda said the woman had already completed the Stopping Violence programme, wanted to apologise to the victim at a restorative justice meeting if it could be arranged, and had set aside money to pay emotional harm reparations.
The woman admitted three charges in November.
Huda told Judge Callaghan the Crown accepted that there was a link between the offending and the woman's mental health concerns - bipolar disorder.
The woman admitted charges of offensive use of a telephone, causing harm by posting a digital communication, and breaching a protection order.
Alloway said the woman's actions amounted to "extreme psychological abuse" spread over five months, and involving 180 text messages that included threats to kill. She had constructed a plausible allegation against the victim on Facebook and he was lucky that his employer was sceptical.
The Crown told the court that during 2019, the woman used email addresses and phone numbers unfamiliar to the man she knew to send him odd messages. He replied to some of them but eventually stopped and he was never sure who was sending him the messages.
In January 2021, the woman bought SIM cards, cellphones, and created new email addresses and Facebook accounts to use to send anonymous messages.
She sent messages to a man who employed the victim on a casual basis saying that the victim was being investigated by the police for inappropriately touching girls at a workplace. The employer emailed back, but was sceptical of the allegation.
Two months later, the woman posted to same allegation on various Facebook pages the victim was associated with. "These posts were seen by numerous members of the public causing the victim serious emotional distress," McManus said.
The woman sent texts, including, "50k hit on u watch out" from a phone number he was unfamiliar with. That went on for three weeks, until she switched to another phone and texted, "Gonna get rid of you".
She sent messages threatening his friends, dog, ex-partner, and also stated that she had poisoned him, was watching him, and that she was armed.
She emailed his employer using a fake name, accusing the victim of being on drugs while at work, driving recklessly, and suggesting they consider hiring someone else.
The victim got a temporary protection order from the court and it was served in May, but the woman breached it by sending more messages including, "I will stab u in ur sleep".
She also created various email addresses and sent the man offensive emails.