Parents of murdered schoolgirl relieved killer staying behind bars for another year

The parents of a murdered schoolgirl are relieved her killer will spend at least another year behind bars. 

Theo Kriel, who has served 11 years of a life sentence, did not seek parole when he appeared before the Parole Board this week. 

He was only 14 when he beat, strangled and indecently assaulted 15-year old Liberty Templeman in Northland and dumped her body in a creek in November 2008.

Walking into the Parole Board hearing, Liberty's parents were fearful their daughter's killer could be set free.

"I don't want him out and I make no bones about it. Why should I? The thought of him being released and hurting another girl," says mother Rebecca. 

And while they're relieved he isn't getting out, they're extremely disappointed he may be released next year.

"What are they hoping he's going to achieve in a year?" Rebecca asks. 

Kriel was only 14 when he killed Liberty in Kerikeri.

His first parole hearing began in May last year, but has been adjourned twice as the Templemans presented new information suggesting Kriel's offending was sexually motivated. 

"He used to prey on vulnerable girls. Now I've presented this to the Parole Board. I just hope that they listen," says Rebecca.

Kriel appeared before the Parole Board via video link from Christchurch Men's prison and continued to deny any sexual intent.

He maintains he didn't set out to kill Templeman and told the board he hasn't resorted to violence since. 

"To absorb those injuries that she sustained, he said that she tripped and fell. He's a liar," says Rebecca.

The Parole Board says Kriel needs further psychological treatment to find out why he overreacted in such an extremely violent way and killed Liberty. The board says there could have been a sexual element to it and reassessment won't happen within the six months Kriel sought. 

Kriel will next appear before the Parole Board in May next year.