No prison recall for Kurariki

Last updated 17:42 11/08/2008

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Convicted killer Bailey Junior Kurariki has escaped a recall to prison.

The Parole Board said today it had declined to make a final recall order for the young man.

A spokesman said Kurariki would remain on parole until the end of his sentence on September 16.

He would then have to abide by conditions for another six months until mid-March next year.

The spokesman said the full reasons for the board's decision would not be available for at least a week.

Kurariki was 13 when he was jailed for seven years in 2001 for the manslaughter of Auckland pizza delivery driver Michael Choy.

At that stage he became New Zealand's youngest convicted killer.

Kurariki was released from prison under strict parole conditions in May, four months before his seven-year sentence was due to end.

However, he was recalled to prison late last month for allegedly breaching a condition which banned him from using or possessing alcohol or illicit drugs.

But the recall was overruled last week by High Court judge Justice Rhys Harrison who said Kurariki was being unlawfully held in Auckland's Mt Eden Prison.

Kurariki was freed immediately.

Justice Harrison said the order for an interim recall to jail was based on suspicion and hearsay and was not enough.

A later drug test proved Kurariki had used cannabis, but Justice Harrison said there was no evidence to suggest he posed an undue risk to the community.

The board spokesman said today the board was able to impose conditions for six months beyond a sentence-end date.

During that time an offender was not (not) subject to recall to prison.

However, if he were to breach conditions in that period he could face a court, charged with such a breach, and be penalised.

The spokesman described this as a "monitoring or safety/security system."

NZPA

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