Woman who made threats to University Otago graduation ceremonies escapes jail

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
May 12, 2022 |

A woman who made threats directed at the University of Otago graduation ceremonies in December 2020 has avoided a jail sentence.

As a result of these online threats, ceremonies and related events were cancelled, affecting thousands of people.      

The woman appeared at the Auckland District Court for sentencing today.

She was sentenced to five months community detention on a representative charge of threats of harm to people or property.

She has continued name suppression, which will lapse as of 4pm 20th May 2022.

Southern District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham said “these threats had a profound impact on both those directly involved and the wider Dunedin community.”

“Graduands, whānau, University of Otago faculty members, and Dunedin businesses suffered both emotional and economic loss as a result.”

“The message today’s sentencing outcome gives is clear – if you threaten to do harm to members of your community, or places they may be, Police will investigate, we will identify who you are, and we will hold you to account.”

“The police investigation, which involved staff from around the country, proved technically challenging.”

“I want to recognise the outstanding work by Police staff which has led to today’s outcome.”

superintendent Paul Basham said “not only did we have officers working to identify who was responsible, but many other police staff were also on the streets of Dunedin keeping both visitors here for graduation, and our local community safe.”

“I also want to once again, and most importantly acknowledge the graduands and their families who missed out on attending an event which for many represented years of sacrifice and dedication.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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