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Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Parole Board 'pleased' before attack

Police investigating the Ikanui Rd property, where the attack occurred last year. File photo / Hawke's Bay Today
Police investigating the Ikanui Rd property, where the attack occurred last year. File photo / Hawke's Bay Today

The day before a man on parole brutally attacked an 87-year-old woman, the Parole Board said it was "pleased" with his progress in the community.

At the High Court in Napier yesterday morning, Hugh Hemi Tuatua Tareha, 30, admitted the attack in the Hastings suburb of Frimley on November 7 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to an unrelated sexual assault on another woman in her Parkvale home, later that same day in November.

Tareha had name suppression until yesterday, when it was lifted after he admitted the charges of unlawful sexual connection, injuring with intent, two counts of burglary and two charges of assault with intent to cause sexual violation.

The 87-year-old woman was attacked in the middle of the day, at her Ikanui Rd home, after she went to check her mail and was grabbed and dragged back into the lounge by Tareha.

At the time he was on parole for another attack on another woman.

He was sentenced in February 2011 to three years and nine months' jail after forcing his way into the home of a 68-year-old woman, confronting her in her bedroom and robbing her of a small amount of money.

He was released on parole on July 22, last year.

A Parole Board decision written the day before the November assault said Tareha had complied well with his conditions of parole since his release.

"He has been attending counselling ... and he has had two whanau huis with his Probation Officer and with family members.

The board said Tareha was "motivated to make changes".

"We are pleased with his performance."

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokeswoman Ruth Money said the case was another example of "parole fail".

"What will it take before the system is overhauled?" she said.

"Tareha, Aaron Rhys MacDonald (due to be sentenced later this month for murder), Graeme Burton and William Bell are all examples of poor decision making by the Parole Board leading to murder or other serious violent offending.

"Offenders should serve their judge-given sentence and then start a monitored reintegration process. Standard parole eligibility at one third of the judge-ordered sentenced is an absolute travesty and sick joke," Ms Money said.

Justice Simon France remanded Tareha in custody until sentencing at the High Court in Napier on September 23, and also ordered two psychiatric health assessments for the prisoner.

- additional reporting Hawkes Bay Today

- APNZ

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