Violent stalker Joshua Moffatts home detention sentence halved

A violent offender who stalked his ex-partner has had his home-detention sentence slashed in half on appeal.

Joshua William Moffatt, 40, of Dunedin, received a nine-month term when he was sentenced in August on two charges of trespass and two of assault in a family relationship.

Counsel Sarah Saunderson-Warner argued Judge David Robinson had failed to give her client credit for a range of mitigating factors and the Crown conceded the end sentence had been manifestly excessive.

Justice Rachel Dunningham agreed and replaced the sentence with one of four months’ home detention.

In 2019, Moffatt was sentenced to community work and intensive supervision after repeatedly showing up at his partner’s home and berating her.

When she shunned him, during one seven-hour period, he bombarded her with 17 calls and 87 text messages; and he continued trying to reach her when she left the country for a holiday.

Despite Moffatt being barred from contacting her and trespassed from her property in July 2020, in just days he transgressed.

Twice in August he peered through the kitchen window, the second time only leaving on hearing the victim calling police.

By May this year, Moffatt was having a relationship with another woman, but things swiftly deteriorated. After an argument, he pushed the woman across the kitchen, sending her to the floor; then a week later he held her in a headlock for several minutes while he drove.

At a restorative justice conference, Moffatt apologised to the victim and expressed remorse, the court heard.

“I also accept that Mr Moffatt has been making significant strides towards his rehabilitation,” Justice Dunningham said.

“During his time on electronically monitored bail he conducted himself well, he had engaged with his GP, had attended an assessment for a Stopping Violence programme … and had obtained his forklift ticket which boded well for his future employment.”

That, she said, had not been factored into sentencing by Judge Robinson.

How to get help

If you’re in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours or friends to ring for you.

• Run outside and head for where there are other people. Scream for help so your neighbours can hear you.

• Take the children with you. Don’t stop to get anything else.

• If you are being abused, remember it’s not your fault. Violence is never okay.

Where to go for help or more information:

Women’s Refuge: Crisis line – 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 (available 24/7)

Shine: Helpline – 0508 744 633 (available 24/7)

It’s Not Ok: Family violence information line – 0800 456 450

Shakti: Specialist services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and children. Crisis line – 0800 742 584 (available 24/7)

Ministry of Justice: For information on family violence

Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga: National Network of Family Violence Services
White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men’s violence towards women

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