Killer denied parole

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 09:37 21/04/2014
Renee Kara O'Brien at the time of sentencing in the New Plymouth court for the murder of Kenneth Pigott.
Renee Kara O'Brien at the time of sentencing in the New Plymouth court for the murder of Kenneth Pigott.

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A teenager who was 14 when she bashed a truck driver to death with his own hammer has been denied parole.

Renee Kara O'Brien was sentenced for the murder of Waitara truck driver Kenneth Pigott in February 2003 and became eligible for parole in May 2012.

Pigott, 60, was found dead on the banks of the Waitara River on March 11, 2002.

O'Brien was found guilty of murder and co-offenders Puti Maxwell and Kararaina Te Rauna, both also 14 at the time, were convicted of manslaughter.

O'Brien's parole bid was declined following the April 1 hearing. The board cited O'Brien's ongoing risk to the community as the main reason for their decision.

However, the board noted "very encouraging" progress regarding her psychological counselling.

After being declined parole at her first hearing in April 2013, O'Brien had completed an alcohol and drug programme and was on a waiting list for a training programme.

The board said O'Brien would need to be well prepared prior to any release from prison being considered.

"Because she (not surprisingly) remains immature, given the time she has spent in prison throughout the major portion of her teenage and early twenties, she needs to make slow, yet steady, reintegration progress."

O'Brien will appear before the Parole Board again in April 2015.

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- Fairfax Media

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