Hermanus KRIEL - 14/05/20

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Hermanus Theodorus KRIEL

Hearing: 14 May 2020

at Rolleston Prison via VMR from NZ Parole Board, Head Office Wellington

Members of the Board:

Sir Ron Young – Chairperson

Assoc Prof. P Brinded

Dr G Coyle

In Attendance: Ms N Holland – Case Manager


  1. Mr Kriel was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and indecent assault.  He is now 26 years of age.  He committed the murder when he was 14.  He was first imprisoned in March 2010.  He has a RoC*RoI .83 and a low security classification.
  2. This is the first time he has appeared before the Board on this charge.  As far as the facts are concerned we give only the briefest of summaries here.  Mr Kriel was a friend of the victim or at least part of a group of friends in the local area.  After they had been socialising together when the victim decided to head back into the township.  Mr Kriel accompanied her.  At one stage they apparently walked down off a bridge to a stream where they had seen a road cone.
  3. It is not entirely certain what then happened. Mr Kriel provided several different versions at the time of the offending.  It does seem likely that Mr Kriel may have tripped or stumbled and pushed the victim.  His claim is that the victim then became angry at him and punched at him.
  4. He responded by punching her a number of times eventually causing significant injuries and probably resulting in unconsciousness.  When she was on the ground Mr Kriel then dragged her to the stream where she died. Her clothes had been disturbed. Mr Kriel said they were partly disturbed when he dragged her down to the stream and then he then further disturbed them as a way of disguising his offending.
  5. The Judge at sentencing did not consider that the explanation provided by Mr Kriel was a likely explanation as to why the victim had become angry and why Mr Kriel had attacked the victim.  He said that he thought it was more likely that Mr Kriel had done something to gravely offend the victim possibly a sexual advance.
  6. When we spoke to Mr Kriel today we asked him whether he had had the opportunity of reading the extensive written material provided by the Board from the victims.  He said he had.  He said he found the material extremely upsetting. It brought back the memories of the events now more than 10 years ago. He said he was deeply ashamed of his offending. When we questioned Mr Kriel today about whether he had previously asked the victim out or whether he had made any overtly sexual remarks to her, he said that he had not.
  7. The victim's family were clear in their discussion with us that there was information which they were in possession of which showed that Mr Kriel had asked Libby out on a date and that he had made overt sexual comments to her.  We consider it is important that this issue be resolved so that it is clear whether or not the background to this offending involved Mr Kriel’s sexual interest in the victim and whether or not that may have played a part in the killing that day.
  8. We therefore are going to approach the victim's family and ask if that material, in whatever form it may be, can be provided to the Board.  We will of course arrange for it to be provided to Mr Kriel and we will arrange for it to be provided to his Correction’s psychologist.  The existence or otherwise of that information will to a degree further inform the psychologist's approach to Mr Kriel as well is our approach to his risk.
  9. We record that Mr Kriel told us, confirmed by the case manager, that Mr Kriel had had eight sessions with a psychologist. The psychologist has said these were now completed, a safety plan had been prepared by Mr Kriel and had been apparently approved by the psychologist.
  10. Mr Kriel accepted that he still struggles with an explanation for the offending in the sense of explaining why he reacted in the way he did as to what, even if his explanation is accepted, was a relatively minor incident between himself and the victim.  These are issues that will need to be further explored at the next Board meeting.
  11. We will therefore see Mr Kriel again in six months’ time by the end of November 2020 in the hope that the information from the family will have been obtained to inform further decision-making.  In the meantime Mr Kriel remains an undue risk, will see him again as we have indicated

Sir Ron Young