Sex offender programme 'essential' for convicted murderer

By Edward Gay

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A man jailed in the 1990s for the murder of a toddler will not be freed until he takes part in a sex offenders' programme.

The Parole board's decision, released to APNZ today, found it was "essential" that Luke Frederick Sibley take part in the programme.

He was sentenced in the High Court at Christchurch to life imprisonment with a 13-year non-parole period for the murder, and for attacking the toddler's mother with a hammer, in 1997.

The board, led by Judge David Carruthers, found that although Sibley was not charged with sex offences, it had been "part of his murder."

Judge Carruthers said a recommendation had been received from a psychologist who suggested that Sibley take part in an intensive child sex offenders' programme, and he was on a waiting list for next year.

The board also met with the murdered toddler's mother and family.

"The central message from the victims was that he was a violent and deceitful paedophile and murderer who had committed sexual and violent crimes against an innocent three-year-old girl."

The board's decision also noted that Sibley had confessed to having an interest in young girls.

"There is strong evidence supporting the views of the victim that he is a sexual offender and that it was this that preceded the savage murder of an innocent three-year-old and the attempted murder of her mother."

The board noted that supporters of Sibley expressed "a very great frustration" over nothing being done to help their friend.

It also questioned the quality of support and guidance of one of Sibley's associates.

"She asks in an almost unbelievable way, having regard to the brutal murder of the three-year-old, 'how else could he have covered up what he did?' We do not attempt to answer such a question."

The board also noted that a psychological report assesses Sibley as being of a high-risk of violent re-offending and a moderate to low risk of sexual offending.

The board said that Sibley would be re-considered for parole after completing the child sex offenders' course.

According to a New Zealand Herald report from 1997, Sibley suffocated the three-year-old.

He then attacked the girl's 26-year-old mother with a hammer, causing her serious injuries.

A neighbour rushed to her help, and police credited the neighbour at the time with saving the woman's life.

Sibley, then just 18-years-old, was described as "horrendous, callous and cold-blooded" by the sentencing judge.

- APNZ

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