By David Murray
August 28, 2005
A FORMER Satan-worshipper involved in a "thrill kill" attempt in Noosa National Park is preparing to be released from prison – only seven years after the shocking attack.
Aleaha Jade Schipper had her sentence reduced on appeal despite the horrific nature of her attack on a New Zealand grandmother.
The Sunday Mail in Queensland has confirmed Schipper is eligible for parole at the end of next month and has lodged her application.
Her victim, Dulcie Brook, 59 at the time of the attack, was stabbed 26 times.
This week she said she would never fully recover.
"I work on it every day. I take one day at a time," Ms Brook said from her home at Christchurch in NZ.
Schipper, then 18, and lesbian lover Sarah Fotini Bird, 17, from the Sunshine Coast, attacked Ms Brook on the Tanglewood Track on June 30, 1998.
Bird slashed the defenceless woman's throat and stabbed her in the cheek, shoulder, back and lung, while Schipper hit her 20 times with nunchakus – a martial arts club-style weapon.
The pair robbed Ms Brook and left her for dead, but she survived after a bushwalker heard her cries for help.
Bird later told police it had been her dream to kill and complained that "the frigging knife was too blunt and too bendy". It also emerged the pair had been in a Satanic pact.
Schipper was originally sentenced to 11 years' jail for causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and Bird to 20 years for attempted murder.
Both were declared serious violent offenders, meaning they would have to serve 80 per cent of their sentences before being eligible for parole.
But the Court of Appeal reduced both sentences.
"I'm quite devastated . . .
they've given me a life sentence, why shouldn't they complete their sentences?", Ms Brook said at the time.
Schipper's sentence was reduced to nine years and Bird's to 16 years.
Ms Brook this week said she had "no option but to accept" Schipper's release.
"If I don't accept it, I'm just going to go on damaging myself mentally. Seven years have passed and I've battled on and tried to make the best of what my life has been all about since then," she said.
"I just hope that when she comes out she can get on and find the right sort of life to live."
Authorities had advised Ms Brook that Schipper could soon be released on parole and that she had been moved to a "pre-release" corrections facility.
The Queensland Community Corrections Board will decide whether to grant Schipper parole.
For Ms Brook, the focus has been on getting herself better.
"I didn't have the energy to feel bitter towards them," she said.
"I don't agree that the sentence was reduced, but as years go by I thought: I am not going to get better myself if I am going to be bitter about them all the time.
"It doesn't matter how much I swear and curse about the whole thing, it gets me nowhere.
"I don't know if you forgive them, you just hope they can find out that they can get on the right track when they get out again.
"I'm quite sure she will, if she's got family there to help her."
But she admitted having to "fight through" anger over her attack at times.
Extraordinarily, her concern is for the parents of her attackers. "I feel for the parents.
"As a parent I know they must be hurting like hell," she said.
What is becoming a bit tedious is the inaccurate mention of such crimes connected with the word 'Satanism', which is now an exclusive term signifying The Church of Satan, not devil-worship types, which this nutcase clearly is. May there be a distinction understood and established once and for all. ~ DB.