Judge unimpressed by ‘complete lack of respect for women’

A man who threatened to burn his partner’s house down with her in it has been given a second chance by the victim.

There was no such reprieve from the court, however.

Shane Andrew John Reeve (32) was jailed for a year — his first prison sentence — and Judge Michael Crosbie told the Dunedin District Court this week it was the latest in a string of offences against domestic partners.

"One of the things Mr Reeve exhibits is a complete lack of respect for women," the judge said.

"His other convictions are remarkably similar and indicate that before Mr Reeve can have a relationship with any woman that he’s got a lot of work to do."

During the hearing, Reeve admitted he was addicted to methamphetamine and cannabis and would seek help to combat that when he was released from prison.

He was at home with his partner on September 20.

The couple were in the process of splitting up, the court heard, and Reeve had been asked to move out of the address.

During an argument, the defendant grabbed the victim around the mouth to stop her talking.

He was charged with assault and released on bail but within days breached a clause barring him from contact with the woman.

On September 28, Reeve sent the victim a barrage of text messages which became progressively more threatening.

"I actually hate the fact that you are alive," he wrote in one.

Later, the defendant claimed to be outside the home where the victim was living.

"Remember old houses burn well, a bit like witches," Reeve sent.

"No way in hell I’m going to prison without taking you down before I do."

Reeve and his partner met for a restorative justice conference, in which the woman said she was willing to give him another chance.

Also present at the meeting was the defendant’s mother, who had been supporting the victim.

"When men go to prison, their mothers invariably serve the sentence with them," Judge Crosbie said.

"It's a hell of a thing to do to the person who brought you into the world."

Counsel Sophia Thorburn said her client had attained some "mental and emotional clarity" while on remand and away from illicit substances.

He was very ashamed of what he had done, she said.

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