Exclusive - Victim’s family still afraid despite parole board order for Akshay Chand to remain in Mason Clinic.
The killer of teenager Christie Marceau will finish his prison sentence next month, but remain in a forensic mental health facility - possibly for the rest of his life.
But Christie's family say they will always live in fear of Akshay Anand Chand being released, and have trouble trusting the justice system which has "failed" them.
Chand, who was on bail when he forced his way into the Marceau family home on Auckland's North Shore in 2011 and stabbed 18-year-old Christie repeatedly, was back before the parole board yesterday.
At a hearing at Mt Eden Prison, the board ordered he be detained as a special patient at the Mason Clinic, where he is already serving a prison sentence. That means he will stay there until the Ministry of Health's Director of Mental Health deems it safe to release him.
Chand, who was also 18 at the time of Christie's death, was found not guilty of her murder by reason of insanity after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
He is serving three years for kidnapping her, threatening to cause her grievous bodily harm with a knife and intent to rape her two months before her death. They were the charges he was on bail for when she died. His bail conditions included a 24-hour curfew and not going near Christie.
Chand was refused parole at his first hearing in December. Early release was not considered at yesterday's hearing, which was to set conditions for his "release" on October 8 - the end date of his sentence.
Christie's mother, Tracey, who cradled her dying daughter in her arms after she was stabbed, said her family never want him released.
"We live in fear for both ourselves and the community that he will be released. It give us no comfort or confidence that he is in a secure facility. We were supposed to be protected the first time and we were failed. How can you ask me to trust the system?"
Mrs Marceau addressed the Parole Board before Chand's hearing. In an oversight by authorities, the family had not been notified of the first hearing so she was determined to have her say this time.
"Someone has to speak for Christie," she said.
At a separate hearing Chand said little.
Wearing a striped grey shirt, ill-fitting jeans and Nike sneakers, he introduced his mother, Suchita Chand, and aunt Amita Williams and looked relaxed throughout.
Asked how he was by the parole board panel, Chand responded, "I'm very good thanks, how are you?"
The process of the hearing was explained to him and he agreed that he understood before panel convener Justice Eddie Paul began.
Justice Paul set three release conditions for Chand: he is to reside at the Mason Clinic and undertake any psychiatric treatment or counselling deemed necessary; abide by the rules of the clinic; not contact the Marceau family without prior written permission from his probation officer.
Chand acknowledged he understood the conditions, and said for each that he did not wish to make further comment.
He was sent from the room while Justice Paul finalised his decision on the conditions.
Chand was recalled before the final conditions were read and he was quickly dismissed. He turned, smiled at his mother and aunt, who were sitting slightly behind him, and strolled from the room.
After the hearing Mrs Chand and Ms Williams refused to comment on the hearing or Chand's crimes.
Mrs Chand has never spoken publicly but court documents revealed she agreed to have him bailed to her home after he was charged with the initial offences. She hid her kitchen knives in the oven, scared he would use them to harm Christie again.
Chand would later tell police after he killed Christie: "Mum hid all the knives but I guess I was one step quicker than her ... I put the knife in the bag a week before."
Family denied Chand details
The Marceau family are furious they have been denied any information about Akshay Anand Chand's rehabilitation because he is a special patient at a mental health facility.
They are angry they are not privy to information about his progress and say they, as his victims, have the right to know.
When a prisoner appears before the Parole Board in normal circumstances, their victims are given information about their progress including rehabilitation courses, counselling and treatment they have undertaken while incarcerated.
However, victims of offenders who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity and detained as special patients struggle to get the same information because of patient privacy laws.
Christie Marceau's mother, Tracey, told the Herald she was angry and frustrated that no one would tell her what steps had been taken to rehabilitate her daughter's killer. She requested the information from the Mason Clinic, where Chand is being detained, but was declined. An Official Information Act request and an appeal to the Ombudsman also yielded the same response.
It was disrespectful to the memory of Christie that all attempts to get information on Chand had been denied, she said.
September 6: Akshay Anand Chand charged with kidnapping, threatening and intent to rape after luring Christie Marceau to his home.
October 5: Chand released on bail, ordered not to approach Christie.
November 7: Chand walks to the Marceaus' house, forces his way past mother Tracey and fatally stabs Christie.
November 8: Chand charged with murder.
December 9: The Marceaus launch "Christie's Law", a campaign aimed at tightening offenders' access to bail. Backed by friends and the Sensible Sentencing Trust, it triggers a 58,000-signature petition demanding bail law amendments and annual reviews of judges' performance.
June: The Marceaus complain to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner about the judge who bailed Chand.
October 17: Chand is found not guilty by reason of insanity. An order is made for him to be held at the Mason Clinic "indefinitely" as a special patient.
October 18: Chand is sentenced to three years in prison for the earlier offending against Christie and ordered to serve the time at the Mason Clinic.
December: Chand becomes eligible for parole and is declined by the board.
Yesterday: Chand is seen again by the Parole Board and conditions are set for his 'release' on October 8. The board emphasises that despite his sentence ending, he will remain a special patient at the Mason Clinic.