A murderer twice recalled to prison after breaching her parole conditions will again be released back into the community.

And this time she has been banned from using drugs and alcohol for the rest of her life, and will be subject to random testing to ensure she abides by her parole conditions.

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.


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.

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.


In early 2016 she was recalled to prison again after police searched her home and found drugs in various locations including her bedroom.

Nicholson appeared before the Parole Board again on May 30.

Board panel convenor Neville Trendle revealed in a decision released today that since her last recall, Nicholson had completed the a drug treatment programme and 19 sessions of offence-focused individual treatment with a psychologist.

However she also "took a step back" after she was caught using methamphetamine two years ago.

"She has since completed further drug and alcohol counselling and progressed to the self-care units," Trendle said in the decision.

"Ms Nicholson completed a number of guided releases to attend AA meetings and a number of shopping trips."

Nicholson's lawyer Judith Fyfe said if released her client would attend a residential treatment programme to "facilitate her transition to the community".

She said Nicholson had a strong and ongoing support network and had participated in a reintegration meeting where it was established that both she and her supporters were "well aware of the background that led to her relapse".

Fyfe said supporters "clearly understood" Nicholson's warning signs "should a relapse be imminent".

She explained that Nicholson had effectively gone through a "deconstruction process" and had "responded well" to the "peeling back of the layers that often were concerned with her deception of others".

Nicholson, according to Fyfe, was now "well aware of being truthful to both her supporters and to herself".

Trendle said once Nicholson had completed the drug and alcohol programme she would live with someone she had known for five years - he was part of her support group and was aware of her safety plan.

"The board notes the rehabilitation activities undertaken by Ms Nicholson since her recall to prison," the decision said.

"She has a strong support network, but as the psychologist and previous board decisions have noted, her apparent ability to manipulate others and deceive them as to her well-being remains an issue.

"Ms Fyfe nevertheless submitted that she has endeavoured to grapple with those issues with the professionals with whom she is working and Ms Nicholson's own understanding of the absolute necessity of being open and transparent with her support network on release."

Trendle said the board had carefully considered the issues and acknowledged the strength of Nicholson's support system and release plan.

"As she had on the last two occasions she was before the board, Ms Nicholson repeated that she 'had changed'.

"Having regard to her history, the board looked for other support for that assertion… However, we have come to the view that Ms Nicholson has engaged in sufficient rehabilitation activities to equip her with the skills that, if she chooses to use them, will be sufficient to mitigate her risk to the safety of the community."

Nicholson will be released this month and will be subject to standard parole conditions for the rest of her life - meaning if she reoffends or breaches she can be recalled back to prison again to continue serving her sentence.

She will also be subject to special conditions for a period of five years - but has been ordered to abstain abstaining from using or possessing alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances which will remain in force for life.

She will be subject to random testing in future to ensure she abides by the condition.

Nicholson must also appear before the board again for monitoring in September.