Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Teresa Cormack killer Jules Mikus denied parole

Jules Pierre Mikus awaits sentencing for the 1987 murder of Teresa Cormack in the High Court at Wellington in 2002. Photo / Ross Setford
Jules Pierre Mikus awaits sentencing for the 1987 murder of Teresa Cormack in the High Court at Wellington in 2002. Photo / Ross Setford

The man who raped and murdered 6-year-old Teresa Cormack has been denied parole because his risk of further sexual offending is too high.

Jules Pierre Mikus, 57, was sentenced to life in prison and preventive detention in 2002 after he was found guilty of the 1987 murder of the schoolgirl.

Teresa's murder was unsolved for 15 years, until DNA advances led to the arrest of Mikus, who had been a suspect early in the investigation but had an alibi that was not challenged.

Mikus appeared before the Parole Board in December and was denied an early release.

Murder victim Teresa Cormack. Photo / Supplied
Murder victim Teresa Cormack. Photo / Supplied

On April 1, the board met again and decided to postpone his next appearance for three years.

A similar postponement order was made against Mikus in 2012.

Parole Board member Justice Marion Frater said Mikus had consistently failed to engage with the parole process "from the beginning".

"Nor has he taken any steps to address his very serious sexual and violent offending. He has declined to participate in assessments for the Parole Board and declined to participate in any interventions with a departmental psychologist," she said in the decision released today.

"Given his assessed very high risk of sexual re-offending we are satisfied that even if Mr Mikus changes his mind and engages now, it will take at least five years before there is any prospect that he could safely be released.

"Accordingly, we make a postponement order of the maximum duration of five years from 16 December 2015, when parole was last considered. This means that Mr Mikus' next parole hearing will be scheduled on a date between October and December 2020, but in any event before 16 December 2020."

Before that time, if Mikus believes there has been a "significant change in his circumstances" he can apply under s27(6) of the Parole Act 2002 for an earlier hearing.

At the time of her death, Teresa lived in Napier with her mother, Kelly Piggot, and younger sister.

She was kidnapped by Mikus while walking to school. Eight days later the little girl's body was found under a tree on Whirinaki Beach.

A post-mortem revealed she had been raped and then suffocated.

- NZ Herald

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