13 Jan 2015

Mother's fear over release of killer

6:02 pm on 13 January 2015

The mother of a Wellington teenager murdered by a man who was released from prison yesterday believes it is only a matter of time before he reoffends.

Nicholas Hawker was 18 when he murdered 15-year-old Vanessa Woodman in 1997.

He has served 17 years in prison apart from a period in 2011 when he was on parole, from which he was recalled for having bestiality and child pornography on his computer.

Hawker's latest parole is under strict conditions including not being permitted to enter the North Island or to associate with anyone aged 16 or younger.

He will have a continual escort, so will not be subject to GPS monitoring.

Vanessa Woodman's mother Leigh Woodman said the lack of electronic monitoring was a mistake.

Ms Woodman said she would never forget what Hawker did to her daughter.

"Hawker strangled her, he cut her throat, and when he strangled her, he did it with such force that he destroyed her voice box," she said.

"So if he had not gone on to stab her 32 times, she would never have been able to speak again, even if she had survived."

Ms Woodman said without GPS monitoring, Hawker could go anywhere.

"At least if he had a GPS monitor on him, police would be able to track his movements. "But without that, he could be anywhere and go anywhere, its not hard to travel between the North and South Island, is it. Look at Phillip Smith, and how easily he got away."

Killer and paedophile Phillip John Smith fled the country in November last year while on three-day prison leave, using a passport issued under his birth name. He was captured in Brazil and is facing charges, which he denies, regarding his flight from the country.