Hate crime killer Jason Morris Meads has escaped a return to prison after breaching a condition of his parole.
Meads and Stephen Smith were found guilty of murdering Wellington teenager Jeff Whittington in 1999.
The pair picked up Whittington on a central Wellington street about 4am on May 8.
The teen was discovered less than an hour later having sustained an appalling beating.
He suffered severe brain damage, had a ruptured bowel and died in hospital the following day.
The murder became one of the most high-profile gay hate crimes, with the pair boasting they had beaten up ''a faggot'' in reference to 14 year-old Whittington's purple hair and green fingernails.
Meads was released from prison last year after 11 years in jail, but was recalled on July 13 on an interim order after breaching his parole by associating with a known drug user who was the subject of a non-association order.
On August 16 Meads appeared before Judge Peter Hobbs and plead guilty to the breach.
He told the Parole Board he had believed the orders no longer applied and he planned to defend the charge, but one of the members had taken a ''dim view'' of his excuse.
With a recall hearing that would decide if he would remain in prison imminent, he had decided to change his plea to guilty and explain in a letter to the judge what had happened in the hope the parole board would take a more favourable view.
After reading the letter, Judge Hobbs said he viewed the offending - which revolved around a woman asking Meads for a ride home - at the lighter end of the scale and sentenced him to appear if called upon in the next 12 months.
A Parole Board decision released today reveals in August last year Meads was observed association with drug users and issued with the non-association order.
Meads told the board one of the people had asked him to drive her to the train station after seeing him at court because she had no money. He was then stopped by police.
While the board said it was not convinced Meads had misunderstood the order, there was no suggestion the contact had led to drug consumption or offending.
Meads had made good progress on parole, reported as required and was described as an ''excellent employee'' by his employer at a construction company.
The board dismissed the recall application.
Meads remains on life parole with special conditions to continue for five years.
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