A woman who got her teenage lover to murder her partner has been refused parole and will stay in prison for at least the next six months.

Michelle Elizabeth Ann Nicholson was sentenced to life in prison in 1997 for the murder of her partner, Dennis Hind, of Temuka.

Nicholson, also known as Michelle Richards, was living with Hind and her three children when she convinced 18-year-old Robert Smith to commit the murder.

Female murderer recalled to prison over relationship


Nicholson was a drug addict and had significant debt as a result.

Hind had changed his will to include her, and soon after she had him killed.

Smith, who was in a relationship with Nicholson, entered Hind's bedroom in January 1997 and stabbed the older man to death in his own bed.

Hind was stabbed 127 times.

Both Nicholson and Smith were convicted of murder and jailed for life.

"It was clearly an offence which involved premeditation and highly manipulative behaviour on the part of the prisoner," said the Parole Board in a decision released to theHerald this afternoon.

"Prior to that she had a lengthy list of previous convictions for dishonesty and drug offending. She has twice been released on parole and recalled."

Nicholson was first paroled in 2007 but was recalled soon after when it emerged that she had formed a relationship with a man who had been jailed for murdering a prostitute.


The pair met at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.

Nicholson was granted parole again in December 2011 and completed her masters degree in criminology at Victoria University in 2014.

However she could not stay out of prison and in December last year she was recalled to prison again.

The recall came after police searched her house and found quantities of drugs which they said was "probably methamphetamine" and paraphernalia for the consumption thereof in various locations through the house including Nicholson's bedroom.

"When she was confronted with this by the police officer, she attempted to persuade him not to pursue charges against her offering in return to give him evidence implicating others," the parole decision stated.

Nicholson appeared before the Parole Board on November 10 and was refused a third early release.

Board panel convener Judge Phil Gittos said Nicholson was a "manipulative character".

She was supported at the hearing by a group of "strong and credible" people but the board was not convinced that she would not be a risk to the public if released.

"We note however that she had a sound support group on a previous occasion and appears to have been able to deflect them from intervention in the circumstances that led to her recall," Gittos said.

He said there was a concerning note in Nicholson's parole assessment report which indicated she had gained "identified drug user free status" based on a sample given in April.

However, that sample had been rejected.

"The Board did not consider that Ms Nicholson was entirely candid when questioned concerning these matters which go directly to her risk as an addictive personality in relation to drug offending," Gittos said.

"We note that the explanations that she made on this occasion do not tally with those which she gave the Board on the last occasion that she was asked about these things.

"We understand from the psychologist's report and from Ms Nicholson herself that since her recall she has done some quite substantial one-on-one work with the psychologist.

"However, the report which we have does not make any substantive reference to this work and appears largely to have been drawn from historical sources."

Gittos said it was "evident" from the report and from what Nicholson herself acknowledged at the hearing that some ongoing psychological treatment and support was going to be necessary if she wished to be released.

"The board considers at this stage without this process having being completed and a thorough report on the outcome made available, we cannot see the risk as being such that Ms Nicholson can properly be admitted to parole at this point," Gittos stated in the decision.

Nicholson was refused parole and will appear before the board again in June 2017.