A man who murdered his teacher when he was 15 is still deemed unfit to be released from prison 24 years after committing the crime.

On November 6 1991, Stacy Dean Hollyman stabbed his remedial reading teacher and neighbour Margaret Russell, 39, to death in her Havelock North home.

He began serving a life sentence after being found guilty of her murder in 1992. He has again been declined parole for not meeting the statutory criteria for release.

He has already been released on parole and then recalled to prison twice for breaching conditions, the latest report from the board states.


After serving 13 years of the sentence he was released in January 2005, spending almost a year on parole before being recalled for use of cannabis and alcohol. In November 2011 at 35-years-old he was released on parole again, but was recalled after only seven months because of violent behaviour and access to pornographic material, the report states.

When he was last seen by the Parole Board, it was said to be essential that Hollyman "recommence reintegrative activities" and he was admitted to two programmes.

He was removed from both after attempting to bring contraband into prison, and two misconducts which showed "inconsistent and erratic behaviour", it reads.

For his recent hearing a psychologist reported Hollyman, now 40, had inconsistent behaviour, and still displayed a difficulty in self-management and some entrenched anti-social systems of response, despite extensive treatment work over two decades.

They also said violence propensity remained a factor of concern, and "the changes that were expected after he completed treatment have not been significantly demonstrated across settings yet".

The board said his pathway forward should be to return to the reintegrative measures.

"There is much for Mr Hollyman to do and parole must be declined as he does not meet the statutory criteria for release."

Community mentor and representative of Napier Pilot City Trust Pat Magill said the corrections system should focus on "cures" for prisoners rather than punishment.

"[Hollyman's] probably blown his chance, but locking him up again, putting them back in jail is just enforcing the problem."

Focusing on earlier intervention and "cures" would be more beneficial than locking people up, he said.

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar said the country's legislation should be about protecting the safety of the community, rather than allowing an opportunity for a prisoner to be released just because they came up for parole.

"The onus shouldn't be on trying to rehabilitate the offender, it should be on protecting the community, and giving the victim's family the opportunity to put this behind them and ensuring they never have to come face to face with the offender."

Hawke's Bay Today reported in 2011 that in 1991 Mr Hollyman had stabbed Mrs Russell several times, claiming when her stepson arrived home that a large man had entered the house, struck him on the head, and then raped the 39-year-old woman.

He maintained that version almost until the trial five months later when it was conceded he had killed the woman, upset by comments said to have been made by her about conditions at the home of the foster parents he had been with since the year before the murder.

Although Hollyman was not charged with it, he later admitted he raped Mrs Russell.