Depression makes Emery an 'undue risk'

00:30, Jul 22 2010
Bruce Emery is to be freed from jail this month.
PAROLE: Bruce Emery was jailed in February last year for four years and three months for stabbing to death the teenager.

Tagger killer Bruce Emery has been refused early release from prison, with the Parole Board ruling he poses an "undue risk'' to the community as he battles depression.

Emery was jailed on February 12, 2009, for four years and three months after fatally stabbing teenage tagger Pihema Cameron near his south Auckland house 13 months earlier.

The Auckland businessman said he had busted Cameron tagging his garage, so gave chase before stabbing the 15-year-old.

Emery appeared before the Parole Board yesterday in a bid for release from jail, but in discussions with the three-member panel it was revealed he is suffering depression.

''We had a lengthy discussion with Mr Emery today and in particular he described the nature of the pursuit from his property which ended in the death of this young person,'' a written Parole Board ruling released today states.

''Mr Emery also has described to us the depression from which he is apparently now suffering and which he said was evident at the time of this offending.

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''The Board in those circumstances is left with the view that Mr Emery continues to present an undue risk. The Board feels the need for assurance on how the stress and depression described by Mr Emery translates into risk and we ask for a psychological report.''

Emery - who was convicted of manslaughter over Cameron's death - and his legal team had hoped he would be released on home detention earlier this year.

However, that was denied and he was instead ordered to attend a Parole Board hearing in April. That meeting was adjourned until this week, with one of the sticking points being the address Emery hoped to be paroled to.
The Emery's house in the South Auckland suburb of Manurewa is just 33 houses away from the family of Cameron.

The board's latest decision means he will have to wait another four months before seeking early release again.
Emery's former lawyer Chris Comeskey told the Sunday News in January this year that he was hoping the businessman would be released on home detention, saying he had been an exemplary inmate.

''It has been a tragedy for the family of the victim, equally it has been tragic for Mr Emery and his family,'' he said.

''He is not an evil person. He received a punishment which was in line for similar sorts of cases of manslaughter - the whole sentencing process is about like-sentences for like-offending. This was a tragic, spur of the moment matter. He has always regretted it.''

But Emery's possible release was described as a "disgrace" by one of his closest neighbours.

Emery received death threats in the wake of his the incident and lead-up to trial. Prison sources said Killer Beez gang members and associates discussed putting a hit on him in jail. But police were not planning extra patrols around his Mahia Rd home after his release.