Jailed for assault and threats

A Dunedin man who sent a ''foreboding'' selfie to his partner, threatened her, then beat her up has been jailed.

Martin Ralph Bowler (29) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after admitting charges of assaulting a female and posting a harmful digital communication.

Judge Michael Crosbie noted the defendant had a history that showed a propensity for such serious offending and locked him up for 16 months.

Bowler was in an on-off relationship with a woman in March.

Her attempts to end it resulted in a barrage of disturbing text messages from the defendant.

Bowler repeatedly asked to meet the victim and when she continued to refuse, he became enraged.

Over the course of three days, he sent her a flurry of messages containing explicit threats of violence.

One of them featured a selfie with Bowler looking displeased, along with the message: ''f*** you can be a right b**** when you want to be aye.''

The judge described the photo of the scowling defendant as ''rather foreboding''.

Other texts referred to overt violence against the victim's new partner.

''To be honest I wont just bash him ill probly stab him'' (sic), Bowler wrote.

The victim would have been aware what Bowler was capable of, Judge Crosbie said.

Just days later, the victim finally agreed to meet Bowler at his home and they spoke in the bedroom before he made sexual advances.

His attempts to kiss and cuddle were rebuffed by the woman and he asked her whether she was seeing someone else.

When she failed to reply, Bowler spat at her and punched her in the jaw.

In tears, the victim tried to flee but the man grabbed her and held her in a bear hug, which was released only when his father came home.

Counsel Andy Belcher pointed out the messages Bowler posted were not on a public forum, but

Judge Crosbie said that arguably made the threats more personal.

While Bowler had done some counselling during his stay behind bars awaiting sentencing, the judge said that was only ''scratching the surface''.

Probation said the defendant had made no expression of remorse and showed low motivation to undergo treatment.

The victim told the court the ordeal had made her constantly on edge and she feared Bowler continued to pose a threat.

The judge ordered a protection order in her favour.

 

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