15 Jul 2015

Christchurch knife attacker denied parole

7:45 pm on 15 July 2015

A man who was imprisoned after a frenzied knife attack across Christchurch, which he said he carried out because he was possessed by the devil, has been denied parole.

Zakariye Mohammed Hussein was an unemployed Somali refugee when he kidnapped a delivery truck driver before stabbing her and a council worker in March 2012.

The 29-year-old was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of half that, after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a knife, kidnapping, and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

At the end of the incident, Hussein was held back by a member of the public, before being shot twice by police after pepper spray and a taser had no effect.

The Parole Board heard that one of the victims, the truck driver, wanted Hussein to understand that his offending had a significant impact on her life and that she wanted him to undertake treatment.

Hussein told the hearing that he did feel remorse and that it would be wrong for the woman to believe that he was not sorry.

He told the board that he felt that he had been punished significantly by the gunshot wound that had affected his mobility in his arm and that he had now spent three years, the minimum non parole period imposed, in prison.

In a decision released today the Parole Board declined parole, saying they would leave it open for Hussein to apply for a treatment programme to address his issues.