Stalker jailed for fifth time
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