Betrayed women’s blackmail revenge
Two women who discovered they were sleeping with the same man poured maple syrup in his bed, cooked his shoes in a microwave and threatened to make public explicit photographs he had sent them.
Kaycee Te Aomarama Wall, 30, and Lani Aperahama, 40, each broke up with the man and later went to his home to collect belongings.
When they learned of each other’s relationship with him, the enraged women destroyed his property.
They then blackmailed the man – whose name is suppressed – by threatening to send photographs of his genitals to his workplace, bank and a cafe where his daughter worked unless he paid them $4000 each.
After days of texts and phone calls, he refused, and went to the police.
The pair were convicted of intentional damage and blackmail and yesterday were sentenced in the High Court at Auckland to 350 hours of community work. They had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges.
The rare charge of blackmail carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
The High Court heard that both women were in a relationship with the man, but did not know about each other.
He met Aperahama in 2006 and they lived together from August 2007 until March 2009.
But he was also seeing Wall over much of the same period.
Aperahama’s lawyer, Glenn Dixon, said his client was “deeply distressed” when she found out about the man’s double life with Wall.
Wall also believed she was in an exclusive relationship with the man.
Her lawyer, Max Simpkins, said she believed she had met “Mr Right”.
“But unfortunately that was not the situation.”
A mutual friend told the women of the duplicity, it was revealed outside court.
Imposing sentence, Justice Peter Woodhouse said the women went into the house and Wall was overcome with anger when she saw the man’s bed.
The pair then began destroying his property.
They broke a lampshade and ornaments, poured maple syrup on his bed, poured bleach on his clothing, emptied the contents of a dressing table on to the floor, microwaved his shoes and turned his freezer off.
They also put tools and clothes into a spa pool.
The women learned their former lover had sent both of them the same photograph of him exposing his genitals, and decided to blackmail him for $4000 each – the amount they believed was owed to them for their contribution to their relationships.
Wall sent text messages demanding the money and threatened to send the photo to the man’s work, his bank and to a cafe where his daughter worked.
“My broad assessment is it was a scheme dreamt up on the spur of the moment,” Justice Woodhouse said.
“It gathered its own momentum and neither of you pulled back from it when you should have.”
Crown prosecutor Fletcher Pilditch said the offending was premeditated and serious.
He said the pair should be jailed, and proposed a term of between 12 months and two and a half years in prison.
Justice Woodhouse said he gave the women credit for their early guilty pleas.
“I do not consider the harm to the complainant or to his family from this offending will be long term,” he said.
“Any long-term harm will occur from the complainant’s conduct, which was morally reprehensible.”
But despite this, the women’s conduct could not be condoned.
Justice Woodhouse said he also took into account a psychologist’s report which found Aperahama, a firefighter, might have been affected by an acute stress disorder.