Killer back in jail after parole breach

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 11:52 29/11/2012
wepa
RECALLED: Convicted murderer Melissa Anne Wepa.

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A convicted murderer is back in custody after breaching her prison release conditions in Christchurch.

Melissa Anne Wepa murdered Porirua woman Caroline Gardiner in 1997, and was released on parole in Christchurch in May after serving about 15 years of her life sentence.

She was arrested for breaching her prison release conditions by changing addresses without permission, but she said she had moved to get out of "a high-risk situation".

Wepu said she believed she had written permission to move, because it had been written down by her probation officer. 

She planned to put this information before the Parole Board next month.

Wepa has been recalled to prison pending the Parole Board hearing, but she is scheduled for a remand appearance on December 13 in Christchurch District Court.

She had a distinctive lizard tattoo down one side of her face, but has had the tattoo progressively removed during her time in prison.

Wepa had stabbed Gardiner 50 times for telling police about Wepa's involvement in a burglary and then wrapped the body in a duvet and dumped it down a bank at Otaki.

Both sides of the victim's heart were punctured by stab wounds.

She was said to have met the victim in the 1990s while they were both in prison. Wepa pleaded guilty to the murder several days into her trial.

She was said to have Mongrel Mob connections at the time of the offence.

Nine months after starting her life sentence, Wepa got into a cell fight at Christchurch Women's Prison and faced a charge after almost biting off another inmate's nipple.

In 2005, she escaped from Arohata Prison, north of Wellington, with another inmate after using a dummy in her cell bed to fool guards.

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