Nia Glassie's mum granted parole

Lisa Kuka. Photo / Stephen Parker
Lisa Kuka. Photo / Stephen Parker

The mother of tortured Rotorua three-year-old Nia Glassie will be released from prison after being granted parole.

The Parole Board released its decision today, which said Lisa Michelle Kuka did not pose an undue risk to the community and that she would be released from prison on April 7.

Kuka started her nine-year sentence for the manslaughter of her daughter on February 4, 2009.

Her then partner, Wiremu Curtis, and his brother Michael were sentenced to life imprisonment for the little girl's murder.

Nia Glassie died on August 3, 2007, from head injuries after being repeatedly kicked.

She had been subjected to ongoing abuse, usually when her mother was out at work, including being put in a clothes dryer, hung on a clothesline and spun around, used in wrestling moves, having objects thrown at her and being subjected to cold baths.

Kuka did not take baby Nia to hospital, and was found guilty of manslaughter on the basis she failed in her duties as a parent protect her and provide care.

The Parole Board's decision said Kuka had completed several programmes while in prison and had worked on the external grounds crew and was regarded as an exemplary worker.

More recently she had been engaged with the "release to work'' programme for several months.

"Her behaviour is described in exemplary terms,'' the decision said.

A psychological report assessed her as being at a low risk of reoffending and the board said she had made "significant progress'' over the latter half of her sentence.

"She has demonstrated awareness of situations that may pose a risk if she were to be released and has adequate plans and strategies to deal with them.''

Prior to her release she will be allowed home leave to give her the opportunity to spend time at her residence first.

The board imposed several conditions on her release, including that she not have any communication or contact with her children without the approval of her probation officer.

She is also not reside with or have any child under the age of 16 stay with her overnight, and is to complete alcohol and drug and other treatment as required by her probation officer.

She is also not to associate with her co-offenders.

Kuka was denied parole last year when the board determined she still posed an undue risk.

Nia was the youngest of Kuka's six children. Her death appalled the nation and prompted calls for more to be done to combat child abuse.

- APNZ

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