When I contacted Victim Support, they were there for me. My Support Worker Nicky can only be described as a “diamond” with all her support and guidance. I found out through social media about the upcoming Parole Board hearing for the offender and wanted to make a submission, so I went to the Invercargill Victim Support office to see if they could help me.
Making an oral submission to the Parole board was my way of being there for my daughter, my daughters’ children and my grandchildren. I was initially quite scared that the offender would also be at the hearing, but I was relieved to hear he wouldn’t be.
As the hearing drew closer, I was a nervous wreck and unsure of what I was going into. But when I attended the hearing in Christchurch, I was put at ease by the Parole Board panel. They were friendly, warm and engaging and could understand what I was trying to express. They listened to me and asked me a range of questions about what I wanted to get out of the hearing. Also being given the chance to answer their questions was important, because they wouldn’t have been able to ask me if I had sent a letter.
"I’m keen to keep being supported by Victim Support as I feel well cared for and safe and will call on them again when the next Parole hearing comes around."
I wrote in my letter which I read to them describing the background of my daughter and her life. I shared with them the trauma that I have endured, not just with the brutal murder of my daughter but also the death of my husband and other daughter. I expressed my reasons for why I believed the offender would not be rehabilitated. I wanted him to be locked up forever.
Parole was declined and we will start this process again next year. I’m keen to keep being supported by Victim Support as I feel well cared for and safe and will call on them again when the next Parole hearing comes around.
Now that I know how important it is to be kept informed about any upcoming hearings, court dates etc., I want to make sure that all my family members and myself that are listed and informed. It’s been an important thing to do in memory of my daughter.
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