Karla Cardno's killer seeks release

00:13, Jan 24 2013
Cardno lookback
Grieving friends of Karla Cardno carry her casket, bearing her favourite teddy bear, from the Lower Hutt Horticultural Hall after her funeral service, in this 1989 photo.
Cardno lookback
Police search Coast Road, south of Eastbourne, in this 1989 photo.
Cardno lookback
Police and army officers work around the tent covering the grave of Taita teenager Karla Cardno at Pencarrow Head, in this 1989 photo.
Cardno lookback
Veronica Cardno, mother of the victim, is comforted during a 1989 press conference.

The man who kidnapped, raped and murdered Wellington schoolgirl Karla Cardno will next month seek release from prison.

Paul Joseph Dally has served more than 22 years in prison after being handed a life sentence for the May 1989 slaying of the 13-year-old.

In a crime that shocked the nation, Dally snatched Karla while she was riding her bike through a Lower Hutt suburb.

He later raped her and held her captive in his home, watching on as Karla's family and friends searched for her.

Karla's body was found four weeks later on the Pencarrow Coast, east of Wellington.

After nearly a quarter of a century behind bars, Dally is set to go before the Parole Board in February.

It will be the first time he has been able to seek release since a hearing in early 2010, which ruled he was still too dangerous to be released.

At the time, the Parole Board issued the notorious killer a three-year postponement order meaning he would not be allowed before the board again until 2013.

A written copy of the board's decision revealed it was ''not at all convinced that [Dally] has yet dealt with the appalling offending which brought him to prison''.

Three years earlier, Dally finally issued an apology to Karla's traumatised family.

In September 2007 he made an unsuccessful attempt at gaining parole, with the board's report stating: ''He says he would like to say how truly sorry he was for what he had done and he is doing the best that he can now to change himself for the future. We record that for what it is worth.''

In 1999, Karla's stepfather, Mark Middleton, was arrested for threatening to kill Dally. It followed comments Middleton made in the media.

He was later convicted and received a nine-month suspended jail term.

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Paul Joseph Dally
Paul Joseph Dally
Karla Cardno
Karla Cardno

The Southland Times