If you don’t know where to draw the line, this happens

A “lonely man” who pretended to be a radical terrorist in emails to Members of Parliament where he threatened to put their heads on poles and pump them “full of bullets” has today been jailed for 11 months.

Steven Shane Lawrence, 50, sat in his Christchurch flat and seethed against the New Zealand government.

The loner was angry at a “Zionist” government he perceived to be in bed with America.

So, over a seven-day period in January, Lawrence sent a string of extremely graphic and abusive emails to several MPs.

One victim received a threat that he would be pumped full of bullets and that Lawrence would rejoice in his bloody death.

Another victim was threatened that she would “burn eternally in hell” and that her entrails would be spread across the streets.

Others were threatened with having their decapitated heads put on poles, while another was told her throat would be slit.

On his arrest, Lawrence told police he had strong political ideologies.

I am at the receiving end of similar communications, be it in public, via email or TXT. ?They are all reported to the police. ?All of them. ?If it’s a one-off, and not too over-the-top, I’m sure the police just file it away. ?However, if there is a pattern, or it is simply too blatant, the police tend to go have a chat with these people to explain the law.

Some of the Greymouth people that were very vocal on the Internet calling for me and my family to be harmed or killed got visits and told that a single repeat would see them in?court.

You simply can not go around telling people you’re going to kill them, or hope they die or meet some other accidental death. ?Apart from extremely bad manners, it’s against the law.

On the “probably not too bad” end, we have people like Phil Wheeler. ?People like Phil get a rush of blood to the head, and think there is some sort of humour in that. ? I wonder if he would like to look my wife in the eye and explain why he has absolutely no hesitation at wishing harm to come to me, and the dreadful pain that it would cause my family.

But on the serious end are people like?[Name redacted]. ?Mr [Name redacted] has been arrested and charged with Threatening to Kill, and faces a maximum of 7 years in prison. ?He is currently on bail under very strict conditions awaiting trial.

I had commenters yesterday making a case that “it’s just a bit of humour” and that I, and the blog in general are overreacting.

Well, forgive me for not seeing the funny side in people wanting me physical harm and death for a bit of fun. ?Let’s call it one of my character flaws that I can’t see the funny side, shall we?

Anyone who breaks the law by threatening the well-being of me, my family or my friends will be reported to the police. ? And if it isn’t your first time, or your last time, you too might find yourself facing the consequences of making some very bad choices.


..and that was just last night.

The problem is that anyone can say anything and they let everyone on the Internet without any sort of training or lessons in proper discourse. ? The things that used to be said over a beer to a few mates now goes out to the world, and is recorded… forever.

– Kurt Bayer, NZ Herald