16 May 2011

Killers' parole hearings deferred

1:54 pm on 16 May 2011

Two murderers have agreed to have their eligibility for parole put on hold until mid-2013.

Parole Board rulings, obtained by Radio New Zealand News, show both men willingly consented to their two-year stand down.

In 1996, Phillip Smith was given a life sentence for the stabbing death of a man in Wellington whose son he had been sexually abusing.

The board says Smith has given his unqualified consent to a two-year parole postponement, because there is no likelihood of him being released within that time.

Charles Coulam, who raped and murdered English tourist Monica Cantwell at Mt Maunganui in 1989, has also received a two-year parole deferral.

He is detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act, but is said to fully understand the purpose of the stand-down.

Coulam's psychologist has told the Board the move will be beneficial, while he continues slow and steady progress in therapy.