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Blair James Geeson (37) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to a charge under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.
Judge Kevin Phillips said the social media post was "done with malice" and he also sentenced the defendant to nine months’ supervision and 80 hours’ community work.
Counsel Ann Leonard said when her client’s relationship of five years disintegrated, his former partner met a new man, causing Geeson "great distress".
In December, the couple reunited in an attempt to make a go of things, she said, but the woman finally opted to return to her new boyfriend.
On February 13, Ms Leonard said Geeson was "extremely tired and upset" following a spell in hospital.
At 7.20am that day he posted a photo of the victim showing her torso, wearing only a bra.
"Just good to see [the new boyfriend] got such a loyal gf. Time to upgrade your bathroom, looks a bit dated," Geeson commented.
The photo, Ms Leonard said, had been taken in the new man’s bathroom and been sent a month earlier.
It remained online for six hours.
The victim was so upset she started shaking, Judge Phillips noted.
"Upset, dumbfounded, shocked, confused, worried, and stressed," he said.
Ms Leonard said her client had fallen asleep and deleted the post as soon as he woke up.
"He realised ... how wrong it was and took it down."
Her client, who had no previous convictions, was extremely remorseful, she said.
Judge Phillips said while he did not expect Geeson to commit similar offences in the future, a message of deterrence had to be sent to the community as such cases were becoming increasingly common.
The defendant was barred from consuming alcohol or non-prescription drugs during the supervision sentence and was ordered to attend any counselling as directed by Probation.