Online news

Woman subjected to control, violence

An Invercargill man subjected his partner to violent attack and controlling behavior for 18 months, a judge has heard.

Timothy Robinson (31) was sentenced to four years and two months in prison when he appeared in Invercargill District Court yesterday.

Judge Kevin Phillips said Robinson exercised “incredible” levels of control and manipulation over his victim during a relationship spanning 2020 and last year.

In addition to the constant beatings, death threats, kidnappings and verbal abuse, he installed a secret camera in their home to record what she was doing during the day.

He also had her carry her cell phone in her top pocket, in recording mode, so he could check on her when she was out.

In mid-2020, he drove her to the Catlins in the middle of the night, and near a lake and beach, ordered her to strip and walk in water.

Robinson, whose name suspension expired yesterday, admitted kidnapping (three counts), strangulation (three counts), assault of a man against a woman (six counts), assault with intent to injure (two counts) and threat of death (11 counts).

After listening to the victim’s impact statement, which was read in court by a lawyer, Judge Phillips praised his bravery and wished him well in his recovery from “tremendous” psychological and physical harm.

“It’s hard to understand how a woman could withstand the onslaught.”

The accused met the victim on an online dating app, and his offense began in early 2020, shortly after he moved to Invercargill to live with her and her daughter from a previous relationship.

When she finally went to the police, she was pregnant with his child.

Barrister John Westgate said a psychological report diagnosed the defendant with separation anxiety disorder stemming from a difficult family background.

He had suffered from domestic violence, a move and the loss of a sibling as a child, and the report helped explain how the offense was driven by his fear of losing his partner.

Invercargill District Court Judge Phillips also sentenced yesterday.—

– Christopher Rhys McGregor (30), from Queenstown, receiver, on July 15, 2021; illegal seizure of vehicle, September 20; burglary, September 20-23; burglary, all in Queenstown, March 20; imprisonment for two years and six months, compensation of $7,000.

– Tapara Tahi (35), from Roxburgh, breach of protective order, Invercargill, February 22, four months in community custody, nine months under supervision.