Parole postponed for axe-murderer and sexual assailant

By Rebecca Ryan

In December 1996, Anthony Phillip Hitchcock was sentenced to life with preventive detention for murdering a woman, and then trying to rape her daughter. Photo / istock
In December 1996, Anthony Phillip Hitchcock was sentenced to life with preventive detention for murdering a woman, and then trying to rape her daughter. Photo / istock

A man who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl after telling her he had just murdered her sleeping mother with an axe continues to demonstrate aggressive and hostile behaviour, the Parole Board says.

Anthony Phillip Hitchcock, now 59, has been given a three-year parole postponement order by the board after a hearing on January 26.

In December 1996, Hitchcock was sentenced to life imprisonment with preventive detention for using an axe to murder a 26-year-old woman, and then trying to rape her young daughter, including dragging her around her Oamaru home with a cord around her neck.

He was one of the first people in the country to be given a life sentence and preventive detention.

The names of the murdered woman and her daughter are permanently suppressed.

Hitchcock appeared for Parole Board consideration of a five-year parole postponement order after concerns were expressed by the board about his rehabilitation at an initial hearing on December 14.

At the hearing in December, the board heard Hitchcock had completed Kia Marama, a specialist prison treatment programme for child sex offenders, for the second time, but "aggressive and hostile behaviour" had led to his departure from a graduates group.

"The board expressed concern about a lack of progress in demonstrating that he could apply the learning from Kia Marama, or the extensive individual psychological counselling he has received," the report said.

In a specific addendum report for the hearing, Hitchcock said that a five-year postponement order would see him "lose hope".

"Today, however, he acknowledges that he does need to go through a period of demonstration as referred to by the last board," the report said.

"He would like to be given the necessary reintegrative opportunity for that to occur and this board certainly supports that, including self care presumably in [withheld] for which we note he is waitlisted."

Hitchcock told the board that he was "amenable" to resuming counselling.

"Mr Hitchcock is fully aware that he has work to do which will take some time," the report said.

The Parole Board gave Hitchcock a three-year postponement order.

He is able to apply for an earlier consideration of parole on the grounds there has been a significant change in his circumstances.

Otherwise, he will next come up before the board in December 2018.

- Otago Daily Times

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