Hate crime killer's charge withdrawn

Last updated 11:18 28/02/2013
Jason Meads
Fairfax NZ

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Hate crime killer Jason Meads has had a charge of threatening to kill another person withdrawn after police said the alleged victim had recanted her complaint.

Meads and Stephen James Smith were found guilty of murdering 14-year-old Wellingtonian Jeff Whittington in 1999.

After spending 11 years in jail Meads was freed in 2011. Meads had been recalled after being charged but now has to appear back before the Parole Board before he can be released.

Wellington District Court judge Oke Blaikie today allowed the charge to be withdrawn but told Meads not to make such comments.

Last year Meads narrowly escaped being recalled to prison after he was caught associating with a known drug user - a breach of his parole conditions.

But the board decided not to recall him permanently as he had made progress while on parole.

A witness at the trial said the pair had later boasted they had beaten a "faggot" and left him for dead.

Mr Whittington was found lying battered in a puddle in central Wellington at 4.40am. Shoe or boot marks could be seen on his skin.

He had suffered severe brain damage and a ruptured bowel, and died in hospital the next day.

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- The Dominion Post

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