A manic ex-boyfriend who threatened to ‘eat’ his former partner is set to walk free from court.
The sentencing of 29-year-old Dunedin local, Damien Tehira Walters has angered New Zealand anti-domestic violence advocates who believe it fails his victim.
The NZ Herald reported that Walters was sentenced to a year in prison but is due to be released as he has already served six months in custody.
During the hearing, Judge John Macdonald heard evidence of how Walters threatened to pick up a firearm, before returning to a South Dunedin home where his ex-partner was with a friend, two days after they broke up in April.
Walters’ victim hid in a bedroom while her ex smashed her car outside (file picture)
It was here that the victim hid in a bedroom while her angry ex smashed a glass sliding door, kicked a car door panel and also broke two car windows.
Unable to find the victim at the address, Walters began throwing her belongings from the house on to the footpath. While doing this, he called her phone and said he was going to ‘kill her, eat her, waste her and rip her apart’.
Leaving the scene, Walters continued to phone his victim, threatening to return, shoot her, and shoot at her home.
Walters pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional damage and one of threatening to kill as a result of the incident. He also admitted to a charge of cultivating cannabis, after police uncovered a cupboard that had been converted into a mini-grow room for the drug during their search.
However, his defence lawyer Steve Turner argued that Walters had paid for the damage he caused, compensated the victim further for the trauma she suffered and now accepted the relationship was over.
The defence also argued that their client had been through residential rehabilitation at Moana House in 2014 and his offending – which spanned eight pages of convictions – had since slowed.
Given the six months he has spent in custody, Walters is now scheduled for imminent release, with Judge Macdonald imposing six months’ release conditions and making a protection order in favour of the victim.
White Ribbon NZ is encouraging men to take responsibility and end violence against women (file picture)
However, a spokesman from White Ribbon NZ has argued that while the sentence may seem inadequate, men also need to take responsibility for ending this violence.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Rob McCann, White Ribbon Manager said: ‘This does not send the message that men’s violence towards women is taken seriously. In NZ we have the highest rate of reported domestic violence in the developed world with 41% of our front line police officers time spent on family harm.
While we need our judicial system to send a clear message, we also need men in New Zealand to ‘Stand Up’. All it takes for bad things to happen is for good men to do nothing.’