Facebook users cannot do whatever they wish to satisfy their needs, a judge told a Timaru woman yesterday when sentencing her for breaching name suppression.
Judge Paul Kellar, sitting in the Timaru District Court, said ignoring suppression orders would not be tolerated.
He sentenced Charlene Lee Kernohan, 27, a cleaner, of Timaru, to two months' community detention and 80 hours' community work.
Matthew John Krouse was granted name suppression when he first appeared in court on a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to a then 9-year-old Timaru boy last December.
Within hours of his first appearance, Kernohan had posted to Facebook, identifying him.
Judge Kellar said her act suggested she felt a "sense of self-entitlement". "To put it bluntly, you think you can do whatever you wish to satisfy your own needs."
He said her sentence needed to send a clear message to others.
Defence counsel John Black said Kernohan, who had sat in the court's public gallery the day Krouse appeared, had made the post on Facebook after visiting the complainant in hospital. Kernohan was "extremely upset" after seeing the young boy, prompting her desire to make the post.
"She was told to take the post down and immediately did so," Mr Black said.
"She didn't mean to put anybody in danger. She didn't know the repercussions of her actions in that regard. She now knows she wasn't entitled to publish on that day."
Mr Black said Kernohan's offending was not as severe as other recent cases where name suppressions have been breached, such as the Jesse Ryder case.
That situation related to a Christchurch man who breached suppression when he put a video online of two men accused of assaulting the cricketer.
Jordan Mason admitted the suppression breach charge during an appearance in the Christchurch District Court in April. He was sentenced to two months' community detention and 140 hours' community work.
Mr Black said Kernohan's breach of name suppression was "a less serious case".
Judge Kellar said her actions had the potential to undermine the rights a person has to a fair trial. "This is comparatively serious offending."
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