An Auckland man who threatened to publish an intimate visual recording of his partner has been sentenced to nine months supervision.
The man in his 60s was sentenced in the Auckland District Court on Wednesday by Judge Claire Ryan after earlier pleading guilty to one charge of harassment.
He was given interim name suppression until March 21.
According to the summary of facts, the man told his ex-partner he would send an intimate recording of her to her family after he found out she was cheating on him.
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He also said he would get criminal gangs to visit her.
The pair first met in the early 2000s when the man employed the woman.
They subsequently began a sexual relationship, but early last year the woman broke off the relationship and flew overseas.
The court heard how through social media and other means, the man found out she had been in a relationship with another man since 2013.
“You took the separation poorly, and your communication with the victim turned sour,” Judge Ryan said in her summing up.
The man began to contact the woman while she was overseas using two different aliases. Between January 9 and March 11, 2016, he sent her more than 700 messages.
During these exchanges he threatened to send an intimate recording of her, which was recorded consensually, to her friends and family.
“This was a prolonged series of threats of over 700 messages. It was a consistent and persistent period of harassment over a number of months,” Judge Ryan said.
He told the woman the recording would not be released if she either paid him $300,000, ended the relationship with the man, or reconvened their relationship so he could end it with dignity.
The woman returned from overseas in February 2016 to discuss the threats with the man. They met in an Auckland hotel in March, where the man reiterated his demands.
Unbeknownst to him, the woman recorded the conversation and gave the information to police. He was arrested before he could publish the recording.
The man’s lawyer Steven Bonnar QC argued his client never planned to publish the recording.
“It was never going to happen as it would have identified [the man], as it would have identified the complainant.”
Judge Ryan noted the man had spent a large sum of money on the woman over the years, and her actions had been extremely hurtful to him.
She convicted and sentenced the man to nine months supervision and instructed him to undergo counselling.