Mum dismisses man who killed her girl
Almost two decades after her "bubbly" daughter was viciously raped, bashed and murdered outside her Palmerston North flat, Lorraine Wood doesn't waste her energy hating the man responsible.
That man, Carl Liam Martinson, 36, is now free, having been released from jail on August 13.
"I don't really think about him.
"I hope to God I never have to bump into him," Mrs Wood said.
Martinson had been behind bars since his arrest in 1993 for the murder of Donnell Marie Wood, 19, who if she were alive, would have turned 39 yesterday.
On May 21, 1993, he garrotted her and stomped on her, inflicting injuries so severe they were likened to those suffered in serious car crashes.
One kick to the stomach split Donnell's liver in two.
After a trial a year later, Martinson was sentenced to a minimum non-parole period of 13 years.
He first appeared before the Parole Board in 2006 and didn't convince its members until July this year that he should be released.
A report of the board's decision does not say where he lives but it notes he cannot enter Palmerston North without written approval.
Mrs Wood recently left the region, moving to central Hawke's Bay, and told the Manawatu Standard that what happened "destroyed" her for a number of years, forcing her to "put a wall up".
"I've dealt with a lot in the last couple of years and finally, in the end, did some counselling.
"I think two years ago I wrote to the Parole Board and told them I'd never write again. I always wrote to prevent parole happening," she said.
"When [Martinson] was released, there was a little piece of me - don't get me wrong, I didn't feel sorry for him - that felt sad that a human being like him doesn't know how to live in our society because he's got to learn eftpos and cellphones."
Six years ago Mrs Wood told the Standard she would get sick coming up to the anniversary of her daughter's death. That had now abated somewhat.
She still thinks of Donnell often but is living a new life and has a new partner.
"I would love to have Donnell back - every day in my life - but that's never going to happen."
The night she died, Martinson had been drinking with Donnell and others at a bar and walked her to her Victoria Ave flat, where she lived alone.
Why Martinson killed her is a mystery but Donnell's tortured and lifeless body was found the next morning.
She was then working as a supervisor at Melody's New World and Mrs Wood said that her daughter had plans to work as a nanny in London.
By now Donnell would probably have been a mother, even though such thoughts were far from her mind in 1993, when she was a "bubbly" and "beautiful" young woman.
While Mrs Wood said she had doubts about the parole system, she was pleased Martinson's bids for freedom had, until now, been turned down.
"He got a year for every year of her life. I suppose I can only be thankful. That's a pretty good sentence in this country."
The Parole Board withheld the name of the prison where Martinson was held but its latest report said he was living in an external self-care unit and had been working on a dairy farm, where he might get the opportunity to work permanently.
Martinson's latest psychological report said he was at moderate risk of reoffending.
"The board . . . is satisfied that for him to be released at this stage in his sentence would not present an undue risk to the safety of the community."
In January the board will meet with Martinson to monitor his compliance with release conditions, which include completing an alcohol and drug assessment and a psychological assessment, and undertaking any treatment or counselling.
Should he not comply, he would be immediately ordered back to jail.
A previous parole report says Martinson admitted having a "social phobia" and could find making "connections" in the outside world difficult.