Woman jailed for threats after Tinder date

June 29, 2017 | By More

A woman who began texting death threats after a Tinder date has been jailed for eight months.

It is repeat offending for Karen Ilya Laing, a 28-year-old Dunedin woman who was sentenced today at the Christchurch District Court.

She was jailed for four months in January for the same kind of offending, with the judge saying she had already been jailed three times since 2012 for similar obsessive behaviour.

Defence counsel Trudi Aickin said today that a psychological report on Laing mentioned Asperger’s syndrome, which meant she “misreads social cues”.

“She has difficulty self-regulating her emotions, responding to her perceptions of ridicule and rejection as a preoccupation with feelings of frustration and persecution.”

Laing has referred herself for counselling sessions, but Miss Aickin says she has difficulty accessing the treatment “she desperately wants and needs” while in prison.

She has been held in custody after pleading guilty in the Dunedin District Court to charges of threatening to kill, criminal harassment, and speaking threateningly.

The case was then transferred to Christchurch where sentencing Judge David Saunders was told the latest offending involved two new victims.

Miss Aickin said Laing had suffered because of media attention from the earlier cases.

Laing spoke in court, explaining to the judge that the earlier offending involved a man she met on Tinder who invited her to his house at 2am but then rejected her. “I tend to get very frustrated when people don’t understand me,” she said.

Miss Aickin said Laing’s mental health had been affected by publication of photographs after her earlier offending. This had led to bullying on social media.

Her latest offending involved a man who was in Dunedin, but had since returned to Auckland. He had contact with Laing through the Tinder dating site, and he was troubled by threatening texts he received over a period of 12 days afterwards.

Judge Saunders said that although Laing was in Dunedin and had no means to carry out the threats to kill against someone in Auckland, she had meant that they would be taken seriously.

She also admitted threatening a security guard at a Dunedin electronics store after she was asked to leave.

The judge jailed her for eight months, with six months of post detention conditions when she must attend psychological assessment, treatment, and counselling as required by her probation officer.

She is not allowed to contact her victims.


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