No parole for woman who attacked nun

Lisa McCormack (23) sought parole but had not yet undertaken rehabilitation while behind bars....
Lisa McCormack (23) sought parole but had not yet undertaken rehabilitation while behind bars. PHOTO: ROB KIDD
A Dunedin woman who attacked an elderly nun and her brother during an LSD and booze binge has been denied parole.

Lisa McCormack (23) was jailed for two years four months before the Dunedin District Court in October for what Judge Michael Crosbie called "staggering" violence.

Last month, she appeared in front of the Parole Board seeking early release.

She was untreated and without an appropriate address and the decision for the board was simple.

"She needs offence-focused treatment to deal with her violence propensity," panel convener Martha Coleman said.

While McCormack was scheduled to undertake the Kowhiritanga programme — a group-based rehabilitation scheme — in August, it was unclear yet whether she was eligible for it.

The board also suggested treatment for substance abuse should be considered.

McCormack had been using LSD and alcohol with friends on April 25 last year when she ran on to a South Dunedin road.

The 74-year-old driver and his 80-year-old sister, a nun, were waiting at the intersection of King Edward St and Hillside Rd.

McCormack later told police she believed her heart was about to stop and that she urgently needed to get to hospital.

She yanked open the driver’s door and demanded access to the vehicle, the court heard at sentencing.

When the occupants refused to get out, she crawled over the driver and kicked at him while "squashing" the passenger.

The driver left the car and pulled McCormack out by the ankles.

She was restrained on the footpath by members of the public but wrestled herself free and had attempted again to access the vehicle.

The male victim suffered cuts and bruises, while the nun was left with a cracked rib.

The Parole Board heard most of McCormack’s previous violence had revolved around infidelity in relationships.

The victims were either her partner at the time or the other women involved.

Ms Coleman asked for a psychologist’s report to be completed by the time the prisoner was seen again in January, "given the complexities in her current situation".

Those specific issues were redacted in documents provided to the Otago Daily Times.

McCormack’s sentence end date is December 2021.


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