18 Jun 2009

Life skills coach to mind sex offender

12:58 pm on 18 June 2009

The appointment of a life skills coach to mind a repeat sex offender has drawn praise from his lawyer and a school near the Whakatane house he was paroled to.

Paul Andrew Hislop, 42, was paroled in May after a five-year jail term and is now living in Wellington after leaving Whakatane where he was targeted by angry parents.

Mr Hislop's lawyer Michael Bott says his client was released after a five-year jail term for sexual offending against young people and is considered as having an ongoing risk of offending.

Mr Bott commends the Department of Corrections for providing the life skills coach, which he has never seen done before in New Zealand.

Mr Bott says the coach will ensure Mr Hislop is helped to reintegrate into society, and protect him from vigilantes.

Also supportive of the move is Apanui School principal Brian Robinson.

Mr Robinson says Mr Hislop was living near the Whakatane school for just a week when a local newspaper threatened to identify him.

He says moving Mr Hislop to Wellington is just shifting the problem to another place, but the life skills coach could make the difference.

He says there was no mention of using a life skills coach while Mr Hislop was in Whakatane.