The criminal offence of sending a digital communication with the intent to cause emotional harm continues to make an impact. Another guilty plea has been entered to a charge under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015. 

The offender was charged after he threatened his ex-girlfriend's life in a conversation on Facebook. 

Judge David Ruth warned the offender that the Court is taking crimes under the Act seriously and he should be represented at the upcoming sentencing hearing. 

The Act is being widely used to combat digital communications that cause serious emotional distress. Sentences for offenders in the last year have ranged from intensive supervision to 11 months' imprisonment.

The District Court is really making its mark on this kind of criminal offending with guilty pleas being entered early and often. The next step is the launch of the civil enforcement regime which we hope will be up and running by the end of the year, giving victims of cyber-bullying a mechanism to have offensive content taken down.