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An Oamaru woman who sent armed police on a wild goose chase twice was sentenced in court this week.
Bronwyn Olivia Holmes (29), unemployed, had previously admitted two charges of making false statements to police, and also causing harm by posting digital communications (using Facebook Messenger).
The Oamaru District Court heard that about 10.30pm on January 22, Holmes called 111 and directed police to a house in Weston Rd, Oamaru.
She reported she had heard a male and female arguing, and saw a firearm in a car there.
She also said they were running a ‘‘meth lab’’ and ‘‘chop shop’’ at the house.
Armed police went to the address and found a woman and her child at the house.
It was established no incident had taken place there.
Two days later, the defendant again called 111 and reported another incident at the same address.
She said a male and female were arguing and an older child appeared to have been strangled.
Again, police were dispatched, and again it was established no such incident had taken place.
In explanation, Holmes said to the police, ‘‘when she f... with my kids, I can f... with her’’.
The third incident happened on the morning of February 1.
The defendant was using Messenger to communicate with the victim, her former partner.
The two had been in a de facto relationship and had two children together;
they had been separated for about two years.
The messaging was initially centred on child access, but deteriorated to the point where the defendant sent a message threatening to the victim’s mother and family saying she would ‘‘blow their brains out’’.
Counsel Ngaire Alexander said there was a long history between the second victim and the defendant.
He had care of their two children, and was unco-operative when she was supposed to have access to them.
While this ‘‘doesn’t excuse the behaviour, it offers an explanation’’, she said.
It was unclear what the relationship between the first and second victim was, but there was at least a friendship.
Although the defendant had previous convictions, it was not a significantly long list, Ms Alexander said.
She believed with the right support there was a chance of avoiding further offending.
Holmes had been in custody since July 16, due to two breaches of a non-contact order in quick succession.
Judge Joanna Maze sentenced her to 12 months’ supervision and said her time in custody might serve as a ‘‘reminder to what her sentence could be, should supervision fail’’.
The first victim was ‘‘distressed and frightened’’ by what had occurred, and the second victim wanted her to stop her ‘‘unwanted and harmful’’ behaviour; the offending was serious, with ‘‘clear planning on your part’’, the judge said.
Supervision conditions were no association with the victims without prior approval, no consumption of alcohol or drugs, unless prescribed by a physician, and that Holmes take part in a stopping violence programme.