Hate crime killer Meads back in jail after 'threats'

SHANE COWLISHAW
Last updated 05:00 23/02/2013
Jason Meads
Fairfax NZ
BACK IN JAIL: Jason Meads.

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Hate-crime killer Jason Morris Meads has been recalled to prison after allegedly threatening to kill another person.

Meads and Stephen James Smith were found guilty of murdering 14-year-old Wellingtonian Jeff Whittington in 1999.

After spending 11 years in jail Meads was freed in 2011 but is now facing a new charge of threatening to kill.

A Corrections Department spokesman said an application to recall Meads to prison was made after the charge was laid and because he posed an "undue risk". The spokesman would not comment on the nature of the charge.

Parole Board convener Judge Peter Butler said an interim recall order was made following Corrections' application in January and a final recall order was issued after a hearing on Thursday.

Last year Meads narrowly escaped being recalled to prison after he was caught associating with a known drug user - a breach of his parole conditions.

But the board decided not to recall him permanently as he had made progress while on parole.

The killing of Jeff Whittington in May 1999 was so shocking that a play - Corner 4am and Cuba - was written about it.

Jeff was found lying battered in a puddle in central Wellington at 4.40am. Shoe or boot marks could be seen on his skin.

He had suffered severe brain damage and a ruptured bowel, and died in hospital the next day.

Meads, then 25, and Smith, 27, were found guilty of Jeff's murder. The pair had met Jeff - who had dyed purple hair, wore purple nail polish and had pierced ears - about 4am that day.

A witness at the trial said the pair had later boasted they had beaten a "faggot" and left him for dead.

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- The Dominion Post

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