Man jailed for disturbing Facebook message


A local man is facing 11 months in jail after sending a disturbing video to a woman via Facebook.

In the Nelson District Court on Monday, 28-year-old Aaron Stephen Tamihana was sentenced to 11 months in jail under the new Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 introduced in July last year.

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Johnston says the legislation recognised the harm being caused to people through new digital communications such as email, social media, internet posting and texting.

He says the sentence handed down to Tamihana yesterday sent a very clear message that the justice system took this kind of offending extremely seriously. Under the new act offences of this kind are punishable by up to two years imprisonment or $50,000 fine.

“People need to think very seriously about what they are posting in any digital media forum and if the intention is to cause harm to another person the consequences could be very serious as we have seen here,” says Craig.

Detective Senior Sergeant Johnston says even using offensive language in digital communications with the intention of causing emotional harm to another person could be considered an offence under the act.

“People need to take the message the judge has sent in this case very seriously as their use of social networks and electronic communications could land them in a lot of trouble.”