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HOLDEM - Peter Joseph - 26/04/2011

Parole and Postponement hearing

 Under section 21(1) and section 27(4)(b) of the Parole Act 2002

Peter Joseph HOLDEM     

26 April 2011 at (withheld) via video link to the
Office of the New Zealand Parole Board in Wellington

Members of the Board:   
Judge DJ Carruthers
Judge M Lee
Mr M Hakiaha
Ms G Hughes

Ms N Reynolds for Department of Corrections


Peter Joseph Holdem, now aged 54, is serving a life sentence for murder.  There is no point in our canvassing the details.  It was a particularly savage murder involving a very young child.

We had the benefit of seeing the mother of this child today.  The family remain distraught over the brutal murder of this innocent child.  They remain in terror that Mr Holdem might be released and further hurt other people.  They are seriously concerned about their own safety as well.  In short, they do not believe he has made any changes yet, that he is safe to be released and they oppose his release.

He understands that because the message has been the same each year.  He has a history of serious offending sexually against young children.

Last time he was seen by the Board he says he was seeking help.  There had been two postponement orders made previously.  Mention was given of the need to raise the question of postponement again with him this time.

This time he is represented by (Withheld).  (Withheld), in spite of the fact that no formal notice of postponement has been given, is prepared, on behalf of his client and with his client’s assent, to consent to a postponement order for two years on the basis that that is realistic having regard to the progress which needs to be made.

(Withheld) is concerned that there is no appropriate programme or intervention available for Mr Holdem.  He thinks that some of the overseas programmes he has heard about might be helpful, particularly aversion therapy or castration, either physical or chemical, and that needs to be investigated he suggests.

He also supports on behalf of Mr Holdem, one-to-one work with a senior male psychologist and he also raised with us the question of Mr Holdem getting down his security classification.

So far as the last is concerned, there should be no difficulty about that in an ordinary sense.  The very experienced PCO tells us that there are no issues about Mr Holdem’s behaviour in prison.  He is described as a very compliant prisoner. 

The latest psychological report however has him as very high on the PCL-SV tool.  He is described as being at very high risk of further sexual reoffending.  He is described as having complex treatment needs and the recommendation is again made that he transfer to a prison where one-to-one work with a specialist psychologist might be available.

For different reasons, he has transferred now to a different prison where that help is available.  He is keen to get on with it.  He knows it will be long-term and that there is much work to be done.  He is prepared to consent as we have said to a two-year postponement order.

For the above reasons, parole is declined today.  He must be considered to be still an undue risk to the safety of the community.  In our view, it is appropriate to make a postponement order which can be made by consent with the assistance of counsel.  It is not likely that Mr Holdem will be released from prison within the foreseeable future and everyone acknowledges the work which he must do.  He will be seen again shortly before the two-year period expires.  A postponement order for that period is now made.

Parole declined.

Judge DJ Carruthers
Panel Convenor


•    You may apply for a review of the Board’s decision under section 67(1).  The only grounds under which you may make an application for review are that the Board, in making its decision:

a)    Failed to comply with procedures in the Parole Act 2002; or
b)    Made an error of law; or
c)    Failed to comply with Board policy resulting in unfairness to the offender; or
d)    Based its decision on erroneous or irrelevant information that was material to the decision reached; or
e)    Acted without jurisdiction.

•    To apply for a review you must write to the Board within 28 days of its decision stating which of the above ground(s) you consider to be relevant in your case and giving reasons why you believe that ground(s) applies.
•    Reviews are considered on the papers only.  There is no hearing in respect of your Review Application.