R v Johnson [2017] NZDC 15664

Published 05 December 2017

Causing harm by posting digital communications — sending threatening and abusive messages via Facebook — possession of cannabis plant — possession of methamphetamine — Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 — Police v Tamihana [2016] NZDC 6749 — Police v Bust [2017] NZDC 4391. The defendant was sentenced on three charges, including one representative charge under the Harmful Digital Communications Act. The defendant sent the victim 58 threatening and abusive messages through Facebook. The messages included racial and religious slurs, and threats to knock her teeth out with a hammer. The court had regard to the statutory purpose of the Act and two recent Harmful Digital Communications judgments, "Tamihana" and "Bust", and set the starting point at nine months' imprisonment. An uplift of one month was applied to incorporate the other offending that the defendant was sentenced on. The court then took into account the defendant's previous convictions, the pre-sentence report, victim impact statements, and the fact that the defendant had pleaded guilty. The defendant was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment. Judgment Date: 18 July 2017.