AAP news wire Tue 08 Jun 1999

Nationwide General News; Australian General News

NSW: Protest to be held at Lewthwaite's parole hearing


SYDNEY, June 8 AAP - A public protest will be held outside the controversial parole hearing of child killer John Lewthwaite in Sydney tomorrow.

The protest has been organised by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights against the use of psychiatric behaviour programs in prisons and psychiatric testimony in parole hearings.

Commission spokeswoman Lyn Cottee said she did not trust the use of psychiatric testimony in parole hearings.

Lewthwaite had been receiving anger management treatment and was having the case for his release pleaded by psychiatrists, she said.

Ms Cottee said the prospect of a criminal being released after psychiatric anger management treatment was "very scary".

"Society cannot trust psychiatric treatment and it cannot trust psychiatric testimony," Ms Cottee said.

"No dangerous criminal should be allowed to re-enter society after receiving psychiatric anger-management treatment."

Lewthwaite became eligible for parole in 1994 after his life sentence for the murder of five-year-old Nicole Hanns in 1974 was changed to a minimum 20-year term by the NSW Supreme Court.

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