A Wanganui real estate agent is lodging an appeal with the Court of Appeal against his conviction and sentence, handed down in the Wanganui District Court yesterday.
William Charles Hume, 53, was convicted and fined $750 on the charge that, knowing his conduct was reasonably likely to intimidate a person, he threatened to injure that person.
The complainants' identity, and the company in question, were suppressed by Judge Dugald Matheson.
The charge related to an incident on July 27, 2011, when Hume was alleged to have called his former workplace, with which he was having an employment dispute, shortly before 1pm.
At the defended hearing, the court was told the call had been answered by the female complainant, to whom Hume had said: "I'm coming to get you. Pay me, you *******s. I'm going to kill you both." Then he hung up.
The call was recorded as coming from Hume's cellphone, and lasted 11 seconds.
The complainant gave evidence that Hume sounded angry, like he was making the statement through gritted teeth. Her body had gone into "complete meltdown" following the call, and she described herself as "absolutely terrified", shaking and speechless.
"I've never experienced anything like that in my life," she said.
At his sentencing yesterday, Hume had lodged an application for discharge without conviction through his counsel, Stephanie Burlace, to the Wanganui District Court. Miss Burlace said Hume had won a judgment recently from his previous company of $147,000, which was unpaid commission and interest.
She said Hume had suffered through the publicity about the case and that numerous character references had been sent to her and the court. "The fallout in this case has been considerable ... Bill Hume's life has gone pear-shaped because of it ... the publicity has had a huge impact, and he has suffered greatly."
But Police Prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Willemsen said Hume had shown absolutely no remorse throughout. "He has made no amends and no apology."
Ms Willemsen said the conviction was serious and Hume had a previous conviction for common assault in 2006.
Judge Matheson said regarding Hume's appeal against conviction in the district court, he had three elements to consider:
They were: gravity of the offence, consequence of the offence, and independent assessment of offence.
Regarding the gravity of the offence, the police had said the offence was a serious threat to the victim's safety, Judge Matheson said. "And that is how I see it as well. It is a serious matter.
"The consequence of your offence signifies hardship to you and your children if your real estate licence is revoked because of a conviction," Judge Matheson said. "But I see that as a completely independent inquiry and nothing to do with this court."
The court could not make an assessment of the offence in this case, because it must be left to an independent body to decide, he said.
"This is a serious offence and there has been no remorse ... therefore, I cannot discharge you without conviction."