A Queenstown woman who blackmailed a taxi driver by accusing
him of rape was sentenced in the Queenstown District Court
yesterday to nine months' home detention.
Mother-of-two Moetahi Walker (27), blackmailed a 39-year-old
man after he had consensual intercourse with her 18-year-old
Walker accused him of rape and threatened to call the police
if he did not pay her $6000.
Walker told him that if she made a complaint to police he
would lose his job, be sent to prison and then be deported.
When the victim refused to pay, she called police on
Christmas Day and reported him.
''Blackmail is an insidious and abhorrent crime,'' Judge
Michael Turner said.
''If you genuinely thought your sister had been unlawfully
taken advantage of, then you would have gone to the police.
''But you saw this as an opportunity to extort money from a
visitor to this country.''
Judge Turner said he considered imposing a sentence of 17
months' imprisonment, from a starting point of two years.
But he commuted that sentence to nine months' home detention.
Prosecutor Michael Morris had called for a starting point of
two and a-half years' imprisonment as ''denunciation and
Defence counsel Mike Newell said Walker was ''a relatively
''She has two young children and lives in very modest
accommodation. She's very remorseful.''
In his victim impact statement, the taxi driver said he lost
his job as a result of the allegations and had had to return
Walker pleaded guilty and was convicted on January 31.