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GPS bracelet for child killer on release

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/04/2016

File photo of a GPS monitoring anklet. © AP File photo of a GPS monitoring anklet. The Parole Board believes convicted child killer Elizabeth Healy is in a much stronger position now for her release into the community.

Healy, who was jailed for murdering 17-month-old Christchurch girl Shae Hammond while babysitting in 1997, is to soon be released on parole but subject to a number of restrictions.

That's despite an "abysmal" performance during her last release before being recalled in 2014.

The Parole Board this week released its reasons for granting parole.

Panel convenor Marion Frater noted Healy's change of circumstances since this time last year, when she wasn't seeking parole.

She had undergone intensive psychological counselling and had a strong support network, Ms Frater said.

For the past year she had been working six days a week in a kitchen and completed barista training. Her friends and former employers have offered to re-employ her.

Shae's mother Andrea Keats is against Healy's re-release, fearing she will reoffend.

But the board says it is satisfied that if she sticks to the safety plan the risk to the community can be mitigated.

"Ms Healy is in a much stronger position now than a year ago. She has worked hard on her release plan," Ms Frater said.

Healy must wear a GPS bracelet and carry a cellphone so her probation officer can call her.

For the rest of her life she cannot have anything to do with children without permission or another adult being present.

Additionally, she cannot ever again drink or take drugs, or return to Christchurch or the Upper Hutt suburb where she was accused of breaching her previous parole conditions by babysitting a six-year-old.

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