Child killer Elizabeth Healy gets parole, banned from contacting children for life
Child killer Elizabeth Healy will be released from prison on the condition she never has contact with children again.
Healy was convicted of killing 17-month-old Shae Hammond in Christchurch in 1997. Healy, then 29, was babysitting the toddler when she sustained a fatal blow to the back of her head.
Healy was released in March 2013 after nearly 15 years in prison, but was back behind bars less than two years later after she allegedly looked after a neighbour's child, consumed alcohol, and failed to obey a safety plan.
Hammond's mother, Andrea Keats, opposed Healy's release, fearing she would reoffend.
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A Parole Board decision, released on Monday, imposed several conditions on Healy's release.
She was not to have contact with any person under 16 years of age unless another, approved adult was present.
She was also unable to enter Christchurch or Ebdentown in Upper Hutt, without permission from her probation officer, and was banned from consuming alcohol or illicit drugs.
Healy, a secret binge drinker, told police in 1997 that she had been drinking heavily and found Shae unresponsive in a cot the next morning.
At the time, Healy was also found guilty of injuring a 2-year-old, who was found with bruising down his cheek and across his ears. Healy claimed he had fallen off a slide.
In a separate incident she was found guilty of poisoning a toddler with salt. The toddler's father found her food laced with salt when he picked her up from Healy's care.
In March 2015, Judge Chris Tuohy said he could not convict Healy of breaching her parole conditions beyond all reasonable doubt.
She was denied parole in April 2015 for what the Parole Board called "abysmal" behaviour while on probation.
Healy has never admitted killing Shae, and denied any involvement when Keats met her face-to-face several years ago.
"An alcoholic keeps drinking alcohol until they admit they have got a problem," Keats said.
"I'm worried she's going to do it again."
In the Parole Board's latest decision, it said Healy had been able to access the requisite psychological treatment.
"Overall, the treatment seems to have been positive, resulting in identifiable changes in Ms Healy's attitude and behaviour."
Healy had been employed in the prison kitchen for about a year, working six days a week. She had completed a wide range of NZQA standards and completed barista training.
Healy told the Parole Board she was committed to remaining alcohol and drug free for the rest of her life.
"Ms Healy is in a much stronger position now than a year ago. She has worked hard on her release plan. She understands her risks and has a very strong but realistic support network," the board said.
"Provided she adheres to her safety plan and the conditions which we will impose, we are satisfied that her risk of reoffending can be mitigated in the community to the point where it is no longer undue."
Healy would be paroled for a second time on April 18, Keats said.