Nia Glassie's mum to be freed from jail

MICHELLE DUFF
Last updated 16:44 13/02/2014
Lisa Kuka
LISA KUKA: Nia Glassie's mother received a nine year jail term for her daughter's manslaughter.

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The mother of tortured 3-year-old Nia Glassie will be released from jail in April.

The board today confirmed Lisa Kuka, who on February 4, 2009 was sentenced to nine years for the manslaughter of her daughter, would be released in April.

Nia died after being repeatedly kicked in the head by brothers Wiremu and Michael Curtis seven years ago.

At a previous parole hearing in March last year, the Parole Board had said Kuka remained an undue risk to the safety of the community.

The decision was released today after a hearing on Monday when the board said Kuka had displayed "exemplary," behaviour in the latter half of her sentence. She posed no undue risk to the community, it said.

Kuka had successfully completed the Kowhiritanga programme in prison, along with a tikanga Maori course and several other programmes.

A psychological report assessed her level of risk of reoffending as low, saying her behaviour had changed.

"She has more than adequately demonstrated the continuation of treatment gains from her participation on that programme.

"Ms Kuka is assessed as being at a low risk of general or violent reoffending."

She had been working 11 hours a day, six days a week on a release to work programme for the past few months, and had been described as an exemplary worker, the board said.

"Ms Kuka has made significant progress over the latter half of her sentence. That is reflected in the reports before us, by Corrections staff, and confirmed in the course of the hearing today [Monday].

"She has demonstrated awareness of situations that may pose a risk if she were to be released and has adequate plans and strategies to deal with them."

She will be released on April 7, to a withheld address.

Terms of her release include restrictions on living with any child under the age of 16, and communicating with Michael Curtis, Wiremu Curtis, Michael Pearson and Oriwa Kemp.

Michael and Wiremu Curtis were jailed for life for their roles in the murder.

Kemp and Pearson were jailed on lesser charges related to the killing, which came after months of abuse culminating in a fatal kick by one of the Curtis brothers.

Kemp was released from prison in 2009.

Kuka was forbidden from contacting her children, and would have to attend counselling and alcohol and drug treatment.

A monitoring hearing would be held in six months.

Kuka's release date from prison was 15 October 2017.

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Kuka was found guilty of her daughter's manslaughter on the basis of failing to provide medical attention for Nia, and by failing as a parent to take reasonable steps to protect Nia from violence.


- The Dominion Post

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