Peter Joseph HOLDEM - 15/06/2016

Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002

Peter Joseph HOLDEM

Hearing: 15 June 2016 via AVL from NZPB Head Office, Wellington to [Withheld]

Members of the Board:
Hon. JW Gendall QC Panel Convenor
Dr J Skipworth
Mr L Comer
Ms T Williams-Blyth


In attendance:

Support People:


  1. Peter Joseph Holdem is serving a life sentence imposed on 13 July 1987 for the brutal killing of a seven year old child. The circumstances were, as the sentencing Judge has said, shocking and outraged the entire country.  He had a previous history of attempted rape in 1982 and multiple indecencies on a child.
  2. His parole eligibility date was 21 October 1996.  He was subject to a postponement order of two years made by the Board on 26 April 2011. Then, when next seen on 3 July 2013 he was subject to a then maximum term postponement order of three years and his application to review that decision was dismissed.
  3. Since then, he has incurred one misconduct on 23 January 2014.
  4. He has a RoC*RoI of 0.78320 and is assessed as high risk of general and sexual offending.
  5. The information before the Board is that Mr Holdem has a lifelong personality disorder with low intelligence and in April 1991 the Department of Justice psychologist noted that Mr Holdem had extensive psychological and psychiatric treatment and assessment in the past, and psychological report on 20 July 2007 noted that Mr Holdem probably has had more treatment for his sexual offending than almost any other offender of this type, with little apparent gain.
  6. The Board received psychological reports and opinions in 2013 and 2015 which noted that Mr Holdem had twice completed [Withheld]  Programme for Child Sex Offenders, but his response to such intensive treatment was insufficient to warrant consideration of his safe management in the community.
  7. In 2012 and 2013 he had multiple individual one to one psychological counselling sessions. But the report is that he had only superficial understanding of the causative process that led to his sexual and violent crimes, and the opinions expressed in 2013 and 2015 were that he would not benefit from further treatment.
  8. The Board has before it a more recent psychological report of 19 April 2016.  Mr Holdem and his lawyers are critical of the process by which that report was obtained. They say he was not seen for that, or any other purpose.  In that report the writer expresses concurrence on agreement with the earlier psychological opinions of 2013 and 2015 referred to above.
  9. We are concerned that that last opinion, even though concurring with the earlier views was said to be reached without Mr Holdem being seen.  He wishes to be seen over the next year for assessment, and he also treatment that he thinks he needs. He does not say why he needs that.  Through his counsel he accepts that he is not ready for release. That is obvious.
  10. Whilst his counsel asks the Board to encourage his temporary releases and work on reintegration opportunities those are, by a wide measure, premature and, unrealistic. [Withheld]  He is a long way from being a realistic candidate for parole as is an undue risk.
  11. We are not disposed to see Mr Holdem again in 12 months time. Rather the Board will do so in six months; that is in the week commencing 5 December 2016. At that time the Board will require an updated psychological assessment and opinion after Mr Holdem has been seen and assessed. The only issue before the Board then will be whether or not Mr Holdem should be subject for a further postponement order, given that the legislation now provides for an extended maximum period of five years.
  12. Notice is given to Mr Holdem of the possibility of postponement in this decision today and he will also receive a formal written notification to that effect.
  13. Parole is declined and he will be seen again in the week commencing 5 December 2016.

Hon. JW Gendall QC
Panel Convenor