Christchurch man harassed, stalked woman for months | #facebookdating | #tinder | #pof


Timothy James Braid, pictured here in 2010, appeared in court 10 years ago for threatening two sisters through Facebook. He has now been sentenced for breaching a protection order.

A Christchurch woman was harassed and stalked for months after she tried distancing herself from a man she was briefly connected to.

Timothy Braid, 31, was sentenced to four months’ home detention by the Christchurch District Court on Thursday after earlier pleading guilty to breaching a protection order.

The victim, a 31-year-old woman, met Braid in August last year after he approached her while she was out with friends. Braid said he recognised her from a course they had completed together. A relationship commenced and the two added each other as contacts on various social media platforms.

A short time later, the victim sent Braid a message on Facebook ending the relationship, and she blocked him from her social media accounts.

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A temporary protection order was issued after Braid sent her several threatening messages and tried to log into her social media accounts. The protection order was later made permanent, but the harassment continued.

On October 12, Braid noticed the victim cycling on a local track and sent her an ominous message through Instagram saying she should be careful while riding.

Two weeks later, they saw each other on Papanui Rd and Braid sent her another abusive message, which stated: “You will pay you f…ing slut.”

Stacy Squires/Stuff

Timothy Braid was sentenced to four months’ home detention by the Christchurch District Court on Thursday. (File photo)

Braid continued the harassment by creating fake Instagram profiles of the victim and using them to send her threatening and derogatory messages.

He created a fake profile on a dating app in November, using her name and listing explicit sexual services. The victim became aware of the profile only after an unknown person tried to contact her.

The online harassment escalated to physical stalking when Braid was noticed sitting in a car close to the victim’s home twice in December.

In her victim impact statement to the court, the woman said Braid’s actions affected every aspect of her life including her friends, work and housing situation. She had to move and even borrowed her friends’ cars in an effort to travel undetected.

She said she felt constantly on edge, was always checking her surroundings and preferred to stay home out of fear she would run into Braid. She felt degraded and her sense of freedom had been taken away from her.

In 2010, Braid was sentenced to a year’s intensive supervision after making death threats to three people via Facebook. In 2015, he was convicted of offensive or disturbing use of a telephone.

During Thursday’s sentencing, Judge Mark Callaghan said the messages Braid sent to the woman were disturbing and “indicated to any reasonable person that she was in jeopardy”.

Although the woman was not physically harmed, there was no way for her to know if Braid would act on his threats, the judge said.

Braid was ordered to undergo counselling as deemed appropriate by his probation officer. Judge Callaghan declined to make an order for payment of reparation for emotional harm.

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