Threats lead to conviction

An Albert Town man struggling to cope with a breakup will get counselling after threatening to kill his former partner.

Harman Nicolaas Van Der Valk (32), apprentice builder, was in a relationship with the victim off and on for about a year until they broke up in May.

He appeared in the Queenstown District Court yesterday for sentencing on a charge of intimidation.

The court heard that he went to Queenstown for a night out with friends on June 27.

He became intoxicated, which "sparked his rage", prosecuting Sergeant Tim Hamilton said.

Early the next morning, he called his former partner more than 10 times, but she did not answer.

He sent a series of emails that made her so concerned for his mental health that she called him, which sparked a barrage of verbal abuse and threats that included tearing her "head from her body" and snapping her neck.

Because she had seen him in the grip of such rage before, during their relationship, she believed he might carry out his threats.

After he sent her more emails saying "he was coming and he wasn't going to be stopped", she made inquiries and found he was driving to Wanaka with the intention of carrying out his threats.

She called the police, who found the defendant at his home.

He told officers he was angry, but his threats were ‘‘just words’’ and he had no intention to carry them out.

Judge Bernadette Farnan convicted the defendant and sentenced him to six months' supervision to enable intervention, including counselling and treatment, for his issues.


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