The Parole Board has confirmed child killer Jules Mikus is likely to face almost five more years before he can again be considered for parole as he heads towards 20 years in jail for the murder of six-year-old Napier girl Teresa Cormack.
The latest Parole Board decision makes 57-year-old Mikus one of the few to have the parole process postponed for five years since a new maximum deferment provision came into effect with the Parole Amendment Act last September.
His case was last considered in December, declining parole, but a further hearing was held last Friday, related only to the postponement, which means Mikus will have served almost 19 years by the time he next gets the chance to apply for parole in late 2020.
Teresa Cormack disappeared from the streets of suburban Napier soon after leaving home for school on the morning of June 19, 1987.
Her body was found eight days later on a beach at Whirinaki, north of Napier, but one of the biggest police homicide inquiries in New Zealand history failed to identify a killer, until advances in DNA technology with the use of minute remaining samples in a stepping up of the inquiry in 2001 led to the arrest the following February of Mikus at his home in Hutt Valley suburb Naenae.
He denied involvement but a jury found him guilty at a trial in 2002, and he was ultimately sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, preventive detention for rape, and concurrent sentences of 14 years for abduction and other offences relating to the horror, with a minimum term of seven years.
He first became eligible to apply for parole in 2009, when it was declined along with the imposing a of a three-year postponement order, the maximum allowed until the law change six months ago.
According to the Parole Board, no submissions were received from Mikus in the latest proceedings, despite prompting, and it was consistent with "non-engagement with the parole process right from the beginning".
Mikus had taken no steps to address the "very serious sexual and violent offending", declining to take part in programmes and interventions with a Corrections psychologist.
"Given his assessed very high risk of sexual reoffending, we are satisfied that even if Mr Mikus changes his mind and engages now, it will take at least five years before there is any prospect that he could be safely released," wrote Mikus' parole hearing convener, Marion Frater.
She noted that if Mikus believes there are significant changes in his circumstances there is provision for him to re-apply earlier.