Operation Grad: Police acknowledge sentencing

Police acknowledges today’s sentencing in the Auckland District Court of a woman in relation to threats directed at the University of Otago graduation ceremonies in December 2020.

The woman was sentenced to five months community detention on a representative charge of threats of harm to people or property.

She has continued name suppression which will lapse as of 4pm 20 May 2022.

As a result of these online threats, University of Otago graduation ceremonies and related events were cancelled, affecting thousands of people.

“These threats had a profound impact on both those directly involved and the wider Dunedin community,” Southern District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham says.

“Graduands, whānau, University of Otago faculty members, and Dunedin businesses suffered both emotional and economic loss as a result.

“The message today’s sentencing outcome gives is clear – if you threaten to do harm to members of your community, or places they may be, Police will investigate, we will identify who you are, and we will hold you to account.”

The Police investigation, which involved staff from around the country, proved technically challenging.

“I want to recognise the outstanding work by Police staff which has led to today’s outcome,” Superintendent Basham says.

“Not only did we have officers working to identify who was responsible, many other Police staff were on the streets of Dunedin keeping both visitors here for graduation, and our local community safe.

“I also want to once again, and most importantly acknowledge the graduands and their families who missed out on attending an event which for many represented years of sacrifice and dedication.”

/NZ Police Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.