Stalker jailed for fifth time

Taranaki Daily News - - News - HAMISH MCNEILLY

A ‘‘re­cidi­vist’’ of­fender has been jailed for 10 months af­ter re­peat­edly ha­rass­ing a man she met once on a Tin­der date.

Karen Ilya Laing, 29, was sen­tenced on a charge of crim­i­nal ha­rass­ment af­ter send­ing 199 threat­en­ing text mes­sages.

The ‘‘com­pul­sive and ir­ra­tional’’ mes­sages were sent from Laing af­ter she was re­leased from prison for sim­i­lar of­fend­ing, Judge Kevin Phillips said in the Dunedin District Court.

She had met her male vic­tim through the dat­ing app Tin­der. Af­ter their first meet­ing, he told her he wanted noth­ing more to do with her.

De­spite this, he was ‘‘del­uged’’ by Laing. Her of­fend­ing im­pacted his men­tal health and left him fear­ing for his safety.

Laing was a ‘‘re­cidi­vist’’ of­fender, ap­pear­ing yes­ter­day on her ninth con­vic­tion for crim­i­nal ha­rass­ment, Judge Phillips said.

Her coun­sel Rhona Daysh said her client had been to prison four times since 2012 for sim­i­lar of­fend­ing and it led to no change.

‘‘Maybe they weren’t enough,’’ the judge replied.

Laing had nu­mer­ous con­vic­tions for threat­en­ing be­hav­iour, tres­pass and vi­o­lence against vic­tims who ‘‘didn’t want any­thing to do with her’’.

The court heard Laing had Asperger syn­drome and strug­gled to read so­cial cues. She was as­sessed as be­ing a high risk of re­of­fend­ing.

Judge Phillips jailed her for 10 months and or­dered her not to op­er­ate any in­ter­net-en­abled cell­phones or com­put­ers for six months af­ter her re­lease. long

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