The fake collar bomber who broke into a schoolgirl’s Sydney home and attached the hoax device around her neck will soon be released on parole.
Paul Douglas Peters, 60, can be released from jail in two weeks following a decade in prison after fastening the black box around Madeleine Pulver in August 2011.
His year 12 victim was studying for exams when Peters entered her Sydney north shore home in a multicoloured balaclava and carrying a baseball bat.
He removed the device from his backpack and secured it around the 18-year-old’s neck with a bicycle lock.
After telling her “count to 200 … I’ll be back … if you move, I can see you, I’ll be right here”, he left her with a document that demanded money and explained she had explosives around her neck.
Ten hours later the bomb squad deemed it was fake and Peters was eventually arrested by FBI agents in Louisville, Kentucky.
This year Peters apologised to his victim at a July hearing.
“I’ve never had an opportunity to say in public … a deep-founded apology,” he said amid interjections.
The girl’s father submitted to the state parole authority that his daughter had suffered as a result of the event, but had managed to rebuild her life to some degree.
As she has a real fear of confronting Peters somewhere in Sydney, her father asked for “no-go” zones to be enforced. Orders were made that Peters never visit Woollahra, Mosman, Braidwood or Avoca.
Lawyers for the state sought further psychiatric assessment for Peters’ “current risk profile”, to ensure community safety test measures had been met.
But judge Mark Marien questioned why another report was needed after three psychiatrists had already conducted evaluations.
The judge in July also pointed to Peters’ sentencing, which found he was “motivated by greed” and “there was no causal link between any underlying mental condition and the commission of the offence”.
Peters’ mental health has been stable while in custody and his risk of re-offending has consistently been assessed as low, the judge found in his determination.
“Mr Peters suggested that his offending was related to increased stress following the extreme changes in his personal circumstances at that time, including marital breakdown, family issues, financial issues, loss of employment and social isolation,” a doctor wrote in his pre-release report.
Peters has no prior criminal history, while the incident was described as “out of character” upon sentencing.
The authority determined parole was appropriate for Peters, who must follow a number of strict conditions including abstaining from alcohol, participating in psychology if asked to, and steering completely clear of his victim and her family.
He has one week from August 27 to be released on parole.
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