Stalker’s be­hav­iour ‘dis­grace­ful’

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - HAMISH MCNEILLY

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.

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