A woman who recorded intimate video footage of an ex-partner, and then attempted to blackmail her ex during a dispute over childcare, has been convicted of blackmail and sentenced to 6 months community detention and 120 hours of community service.

The case highlights how inappropriate behavior and dirty tactics during family disputes are not okay – and could be criminal.

The woman’s actions are likely to undermine her position in any court application in relation to childcare.

The court’s approach in childcare matters is to consider the interests of the child as of paramount importance.  When determining where a child’s best interests lie, the court will take into account any evidence of domestic violence within the family.

Blackmail – an attempt to control another person through the use of threats – is a prime example of an attempt to exert power and control over another person.  In the family context, blackmail may amount to psychological abuse and therefore domestic violence, depending on the specific circumstances.

Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.