Castration suggested for child killer

The castration of child-killer Peter Holdem has been suggested by his lawyer as he still poses high risk of sexual re-offending despite 25 years of treatment.

Holdem, 54, who abducted Christchurch girl Louisa Damodran as she walked home from school, throttled her and dumped her body in a river, was denied parole in a Parole Board decision announced yesterday and his next hearing was postponed for two years.

Holdem has been in jail since being convicted of murdering six-year-old Louisa near Christchurch in 1986. At the time of the murder he had just been released from prison for the abduction and attempted murder of a 10-year-old girl.

Holdem appeared before the Parole Board on April 26. He was previously denied parole in May last year after being prevented from applying again for three years in 2007.

The board's convener, Judge David Carruthers, said the victim's family remained distraught and in terror that Holdem might offend again.

"They are seriously concerned about their own safety as well. In short, they do not believe he had made any changes yet, that he is safe to be released and they oppose his release."

Though Holdem was described as a very compliant prisoner, he was also described as being at very high risk of further sexual re-offending, Judge Carruthers said.

Holdem's lawyer, whose name was withheld by the board, said he was concerned there was no appropriate programme available for his client.

"He thinks that some of the overseas programmes he has heard about might be helpful, particularly aversion therapy or castration, either physical or chemical, and that needs to be investigated he suggests," Judge Carruthers said.

Holdem had now been transferred to a different prison where special psychological treatment might be available.

"It is not likely that Holdem will be released from prison within the forseeable future and everyone acknowledges the work which he must do," Judge Carruthers said.

"He is keen to get on with it. He knows it will be long-term and that there is much work to be done."

Parole was denied and a postponement order has been made for two years.

- NZPA


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