Elizabeth Mary Healy granted parole

By Kieran Campbell

Photo / File
Photo / File

A woman serving a life sentence for killing a 17-month-old girl and poisoning another child has been granted parole.

Elizabeth Mary Healy still denies killing 17-month-old Shae Hammond and poisoning the other child in January 1997 but the Parole Board, in its decision released today, says Healy is no longer a risk to the community.

Healy will be released from custody on March 6.

Shae's mother "strongly opposed" Healy's release, saying she was "distressed and perplexed by her continual denial of murdering her child and poisoning another", the Parole Board said in its decision.

"We are satisfied that Ms Healy has reached the point where she will not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community if released," the board said.

Healy is not allowed to visit Christchurch upon her release.

Where she will live has been dictated by the Parole Board but will not be made public.

It is her third parole bid since July last year and the decision to let her free was based on finding accommodation and support groups, at least one of which is church-based, the Parole Board said.

Healy has been subjected to numerous psychological reviews and her behaviour in custody has "stabilised" since 2010.

She has been employed fulltime since May 2011 working with a Christchurch packaging system as part of the prison's release to work scheme.

The company described Healy as "a valued employee with a high work ethic".

"Finally, we note that notwithstanding her denial of her offending, Ms Healy's risk of violent recidivism has consistently been assessed by departmental psychologists as low," the Parole Board said.

Healy has had 11 "special conditions" imposed on her for her first five years out of prison, including restrictions on going to Christchurch or having unsupervised contact with children under 16 without written consent.

She will not be allowed to have any contact with her victims or their families and she cannot possess or consume alcohol or illicit drugs.

Healy has been ordered to undertake different types of counselling and she will be subjected to a Parole Board ``monitoring and compliance hearing'' in July.

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Healy's 11 "special conditions" imposed for her first five years out of prison are:

- To reside at an address (suppressed by the Parole Board) and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of a probation officer

- To attend a psychological assessment and attend and complete any treatment/counselling as recommended by the psychological assessment to the satisfaction of a probation officer and treatment provider

- To attend an assessment with a local mental health and addictions services provider and thereafter attend and complete any treatment/counselling as recommended by the assessment to the satisfaction of the provider and the probation officer

- To notify her probation officer before starting, terminating or changing her position or place of employment

- Not to associate or otherwise have contact with any person under 16 years of age unless another adult, over the age of 20 years who has previously been approved in writing by her probation officer, is present.

- To comply with the rules of the accommodation service (withheld by the Parole Board) where she will reside

- To have no contact or otherwise associate with the victims, or their families, of her offending, directly or indirectly, unless she hasthe prior written consent of her probation officer

- Not to possess or consume alcohol or illicit drugs

- Not to enter the city of Christchurch without the prior written approval of the probation officer

- To attend a monitoring and compliance hearing in July 2013 before the New Zealand Parole Board at a time, date and venue to be notified

- Not to communicate or associate with a specific person (whose name is withheld by the Parole Board) without the prior written consent of her probation officer.

- APNZ

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