Stalker’s behaviour ‘disgraceful’
An Auckland woman will do 120 hours of community work for harassing her former lover’s wife.
Margaret Denise Kronfeld appeared via video before Judge Michael Crosbie for sentencing in the Dunedin District Court yesterday.
The 52-year-old sent fictitious emails, made hang-up calls, and accessed a computer system connected to the victim’s family, and ‘‘It was not an isolated incident’’, Judge Crosbie said.
Her behaviour was ‘‘nothing short of disgraceful in my view’’ and the impact on the victim, who was present in court, was profound, the judge said.
‘‘She has been affected by this.’’
Kronfeld lost her job after media publicity over the inci- greatly dent. In his earlier reserved decision, Judge Crosbie said the emails, texts and malicious phone calls were part of ‘‘a premeditated, persistent, vile barrage and attack on [the victim]’’.
The fallout of a three-year affair between Kronfeld and a Dunedin businessman ended with her facing eight charges in the Dunedin District Court. Two charges were later dropped.
Kronfeld pleaded guilty to charges of using a telephone to annoy and sending fictitious messages, and was found guilty on the four remaining charges, which included criminal harassment and accessing a computer system.
Details of the latter charge have been suppressed.
During the trial it was revealed Kronfeld set up 11 fake email aliases to harass her victim, who has name suppression, and made and sent 148 nuisance calls, texts and emails.
The victim, who was visibly upset in court at the sentencing, received 37 hangup calls and malicious texts in a single day.
She told the court she felt as if the anonymous sender of the messages was trying to frighten her and make her beg. Some texts made reference to her children, including ‘‘my instructions are to find your children’’.
Kronfeld knew harassment would make the victim reasonably fear for her children, Judge Crosbie said in his decision.
Sent emails included some from a ‘‘Tracey Hopkins’’ with the subject line ‘‘When he f..... you last’’.
The victim’s husband, and Kronfeld’s former lover, who cannot be identified because of his wife’s name suppression, told the court he did not give Kronfeld the password to a family email account in 2011, which was later used to access a thirdparty’s computer system. ‘‘A bunch of lies,’’ he said. Their affair ended in February 2014.
Margaret Kronfeld, of Auckland, walks to the Dunedin District Court after an earlier appearance.