23 Nov 2008

Jailed killer Wickliffe likely to be released

7:34 pm on 23 November 2008

Convicted killer Dean Wickcliffe may be released from prison in time to care for his dying partner.

Wickcliffe was jailed in 1972 after the killing of a Wellington jeweller and is also known for escaping twice from the high-security prison at Paremoremo.

An original murder conviction was reduced to manslaughter, but Wickliffe's life sentence remained in place.

He was released some years ago, but has since been recalled to prison, and faces charges relating to drug and firearm offences.

Police oppose Wickcliffe's release, however the Parole Board says it will free him under electronic monitoring on 10 December, as long as he is granted bail over the pending charges.

The board's decision says the latest psychological assessment shows him to be at high risk of reoffending, but says any risks can be dealt with by close supervision and electronic monitoring.

Wickcliffe's partner is terminally ill with breast cancer and is receiving intensive treatment.

The board's decision says permission for Wickcliffe to attend her medical appointments should be readily available.

The Parole Board notes that Wickliffe's partner had used cannabis for pain relief, and that some allegations against him relate to her desire for pain relief.