Beyond disgusting

The Herald reports:

The identity of a man who threatened to kill former National Party leader Simon Bridges and his children and “feed them to the pigs” can now be revealed.

Hohepa Waenga, 20, from Te Teko, pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to kill in the Whakatāne District Court today through his lawyer.

Waenga sent a private Facebook message to Bridges, the MP for Tauranga, on April 22, according to court documents.

About 3pm that day, Waenga was drinking with an associate at a Kowhai St address in Whakatāne.

The pair were watching a debate between Bridges, who at the time was the National Party leader, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the debate angered Waenga.

Waenga sent Bridges the message: “F*** you you ball head I’m going to kill your kids and you and feed them to the pigs you little b****”.

When spoken to by the police, Waenga admitted the events and in explanation stated he was angry at Bridges because he liked Jacinda.

That is so vile and disgusting. Death threats against MPs are bad enough but to explicitly threaten to kill his children is probably the worst thing you can say to a parent.

Ebbers also handed up a letter of apology which she said Waenga had written himself.

She urged Judge Ingram to continue name suppression, arguing publication of his name prior to sentencing could interfere with the restorative justice process.

Both police prosecutor Grace Collett and the ‘Bay of Plenty Times’ opposed name suppression, and Judge Ingram agreed to lift the order.

The judge told Waenga that it was in the “interest of everybody” to do so now.

He said Waenga having fronted up with a letter of apology in which he expressed remorse for his “dumb decision” was an important part of a restorative justice process.

Judge Ingram convicted Waenga on the charge and remanded him on bail for a restorative justice meeting and sentencing on August 5.

Name suppression would have been an outrage. His threats to kill Simon and his children carry a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment. It is a very serious offence.

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