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Dunedin woman convicted after coffee assault, threats and wilful damage

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Sat, 3 Dec 2022, 12:31pm
Court documents showed the attack was a continuation of wild behaviour from the previous month. Photo / George Heard
Court documents showed the attack was a continuation of wild behaviour from the previous month. Photo / George Heard

Dunedin woman convicted after coffee assault, threats and wilful damage

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Sat, 3 Dec 2022, 12:31pm

A Dunedin woman who doused a love rival in hot coffee just hours after appearing in court claims she cannot remember the attack.

Amber Caitlin Thomas-Oliver appeared in the Dunedin District Court by video link from prison yesterday over a campaign of abuse against her ex-partner and his new girlfriend.

On the morning of November 10 — while on bail and only two hours after appearing in court — the defendant was outside Coffee Culture in Roslyn.

Seeing her ex’s new partner putting her child into a car, Thomas-Oliver threw a cup of hot coffee over her back.

She then pushed the victim in the chest, before closing the car door on her, forcing her on top of her child in the passenger seat.

As Thomas-Oliver walked away she screamed: “I will f...ing kill you.”

The assault was filmed on the victim’s phone, the court heard.

Thomas-Oliver told police she was “having a mental health episode”, had blacked out and was unable to remember most of the incident.

Court documents showed the attack was a continuation of wild behaviour from the previous month.

Between October 3 and 7, Thomas-Oliver bombarded her former partner with 193 messages, 25 phone calls and two “inflammatory” social media posts — all of which threatened the safety of the man and his new girlfriend.

 “Leave her. Otherwise I’m getting gangs involved,” one message said.

“I 100% do not care if she is murdered and her kids have no mother, she deserves it,” said another.

She also mentioned Sean Buis, a man who was allegedly murdered at a Dunedin lookout in July.

Later, Thomas-Oliver made threats about her ex-partner’s beloved Ford Falcon. On October 12, she followed through.

The defendant went to his Mornington home and poured an unknown chemical over two vehicles parked outside, damaging the paintwork.

One was the Ford, which police said had “immense sentimental value” as it had belonged to the victim’s dead friend.

A bail application for Thomas-Oliver was postponed so a new report regarding her mental health could be completed.

Judge Kevin Phillips convicted her of three counts of threatening to kill, assault with intent to injure, assault and wilful damage.

He advised her to prepare for the worst when it came to sentencing in March.

“My indication to you, Thomas-Oliver, is a full-time custodial outcome I think will be the result after hearing the facts,” the judge said.

A probation report would, however, consider the viability of an electronically monitored sentence.

- Rob Kidd, ODT

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