By ALISON HORWOOD
The mother of murdered schoolgirl Teresa Cormack says she hopes something can be learned from her daughter's death so that another child might be spared.
Kelly Pigott told the Weekend Herald that she supports harsher penalties for sex offenders and greater scrutiny of those who care for children.
"Whatever it takes to come down hard on these people and keep them off the streets," she said.
"Whatever it takes to keep kids safe so that sex offenders are not in contact with them.
"We have to try and get something good out of Teresa's death. There has to be a way she can make a difference."
Child, Youth and Family confirmed yesterday that it was talking to the Department of Corrections and police about the better sharing of information on people who are a threat to child safety.
"If a convicted child sex offender is leaving prison and is known to be going back into a situation where they are going to be with children, there's a protocol where Corrections will notify us," said a spokesman, Stephen Ward.
Further protocols may be established with police and Corrections about sharing information with CYF.
Teresa was snatched from a suburban Napier street on June 19, 1987.
Jules Mikus was this week convicted of her abduction, rape, sexual violation and murder and may be liable for an indefinite prison term of preventive detention when he returns to the High Court on November 1 for sentencing.
Ms Pigott says she feels free now that someone has been convicted for Teresa's death.
"I thought I was getting on with my life in the last 15 years," she said.
"But now I know I was just waiting. Right now, I feel free."
She plans to return to court for sentencing to see things through.
Ms Pigott said that one day she hoped to know more about what Mikus said to get Teresa into his car, and other details of what happened at Whirinaki Beach.
"I do have a lot of questions for him. And I do want to know the answers, but it will be hard."
The officer in charge of the case, Detective Sergeant Brian Schaab, has also said he will not rest until Mikus tells him what happened.
Ms Pigott said Teresa's family gathered for a celebration in Wellington following the verdict.
"Just a get-together and a few drinks, it was a quiet affair. Then I had a big rest. And right now I feel positive and good."
She had shared the news of the convictions with Teresa "in my own home, in my own way," but had yet to visit her grave.
"I am steeling myself and gathering strength for that."
By ALISON HORWOOD