Cardno family's parole trauma

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 06:53 13/02/2013
Paul Dally
PAUL DALLY: Karla Cardno's murderer.
Karla Cardno
Karla Cardno

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The stepfather of a teenager who was raped and tortured before being buried alive has lashed out at the Parole Board for making her family relive the murder too often.

Paul Joseph Dally, who has served 23 years of a life sentence for the murder of Lower Hutt teenager Karla Cardno, was eligible for a parole hearing yesterday, and for another in a year's time.

But Karla's stepfather, Mark Middleton, said last night that Dally should not be considered for release and should be left to die in prison.

"The whole thing is a farce, isn't it? It's time to stop playing this silly little game that they're playing with him.

"We're going to have to go through this whole thing again in 12 months' time. We know this guy is a total danger to society. Keep him locked up, because the alternative is not very pretty."

Dally waived his right to appear before the Parole Board yesterday. In his absence, a spokeswoman said it was "not satisfied that he no longer poses an undue risk to the safety of the community".

It declined his parole and scheduled another appearance in a year's time.

Under current legislation, the board must see all offenders who have reached their parole eligibility dates at least once every 12 months.

However, it can postpone hearings for up to three years if it considers an offender will not be suitable for release without "a significant change in their circumstances". Yesterday was the first time Dally had come up before the board in three years.

He kidnapped 13-year-old Karla in May 1989 as she cycled to her Lower Hutt home. He raped and tortured her in his nearby home, watching from the window as her frantic family searched outside.

Later he drove to the Pencarrow coast, south of Eastbourne, where he smashed her skull with a piece of driftwood and buried her alive, with her hands bound. Her body was found several weeks later.

After her death, Mr Middleton campaigned for tougher sentences. He also received a nine-month suspended sentence for threatening to kill Dally.

Retired Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Small, who arrested Dally, said he sympathised with families who were made to relive their grief because an offender had the right to be heard.

"We have a system in New Zealand, and that's unfortunate, but maybe it needs to be reviewed . . . it certainly puts incredible pressure on families - sometimes, one would think, unnecessarily.

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"The good news is the Parole Board have denied him the opportunity for freedom.

"I don't believe he will ever be able to return to the community without being a threat. Why should we take the risk?"

A convicted criminal who claimed to have spent time behind bars with Dally made a submission to the board against his release yesterday. The former Rangipo Prison inmate said Dally was the worst offender he had contact with. "I can categorically tell you that this individual has absolutely no remorse for the crime he has committed and remains potentially lethal and at risk of reoffending," he wrote.

"Given what I have seen and had experience of, I don't use the term ‘pure evil' lightly. It applies here."

- The Dominion Post

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