Attacker to remain in jail

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 12:00 31/05/2012

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The daughter of an elderly Palmerston North woman who was attacked in her home is pleased the man responsible will stay in jail to undergo treatment for his drug and alcohol problems.

In the early hours of November 13, 2008, a drunk Glen Patrick Joseph Walsh broke into the Rangiora Ave house of 99-year-old great-great-grandmother Thelma Lawrence and attacked her.

She never left hospital and died from pneumonia four months after the attack, shortly after celebrating her 100th birthday.

In November 2010, Walsh was jailed for 2 1/2 years and this month appeared before the Parole Board.

The board denied him an early release, deciding he must complete an alcohol and drug treatment programme before parole would be considered.

Mrs Lawrence's daughter Val Talbot was happy with this.

She told the Manawatu Standard that Walsh had blamed his offending on his addiction problems, so should have to do something about them while in prison.

"Why should he get out of prison if he hasn't?" she said.

"As long as he's had that, that's OK."

According to Walsh's parole report, Mrs Lawrence's daughters told the board they were worried about whether his thinking and behaviour had changed since he offended and said they don't want him returning to Manawatu.

Walsh was due to complete his drug and alcohol programme by September.

"It is likely that Walsh's involvement in that programme will address many of the concerns of the victims as already outlined in this decision," board member Judge Richard Watson said.

"The board is clearly of the view that Walsh still poses an undue risk to the safety of the public and as a consequence parole is denied."

He was arrested on the night of the home invasion but did not face trial until September 2010 – well after Mrs Lawrence's death.

At his trial, Walsh admitted the injuring charge, while counts of burglary and indecent assault were dropped.

A drunk Walsh had barged through the door to Mrs Lawrence's home after she answered his early morning knocks.

He twice pushed her to the ground, before punching the back of her head.

Walsh then tried to pull her underwear down and touched her breasts.

He is due to re-appear before the Parole Board in December or January.

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- Manawatu Standard

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