22 Mar 2010

No parole for repeat drink-driver who killed woman

4:31 pm on 22 March 2010

The Parole Board is encouraging the family of a woman killed by a repeat drink-driver to consider a restorative justice meeting with him.

Jonathan Barclay is serving a prison term of five years and six months for the manslaughter of 20-year-old Debbie Ashton, whom he killed in a head-on car crash near Nelson.

In October 2006, Barclay was disqualified from driving, but when stopped for driving with excess breath alcohol he gave his new identity issued under the witness protection scheme.

Two months later, while disqualified under both names he drove again, killing Miss Ashton.

In denying Barclay's early release from prison, the Parole Board recommends that the Ashton family consider attending restorative justice.

The board says such a meeting would give Barclay an insight into what he has done, though it is up to the family to decide when and whether that meeting occurs.

The board also says that although Barclay has been working on a relapse prevention plan with a psychologist, he is enduring constant assaults and threats from fellow inmates.