18 Dec 2015

Brutal murderer may be deported to NZ

11:35 am on 18 December 2015

A New Zealander who brutally murdered his partner and had previously tried to kill his wife could be deported back to New Zealand from the UK.

Auckland International Airport

Richard Tait may be sent back to NZ Photo: RNZ

Richard Tait is serving a life sentence with a 15-year non-parole period in Britain for the 1998 rape and murder of his partner. He had earlier served time for the 1994 rape and attempted murder of his wife.

Tait gagged his 24-year-old partner using parcel tape, fractured her voice box, ruptured her liver and took pictures of her dead body, according to British news reports from the time of Tait's trial.

Under British law, once foreign prisoners reach their minimum parole period they must be deported, even if the parole board has not approved their release.

However, New Zealand's Department of Corrections said there were no imminent plans to return Tait because of a clause that allowed exceptions to the deportation rules if a prisoner's release would undermine public confidence in the justice system.

Tait's release would do that in both New Zealand and Britain, UK authorities told NZ Corrections.

Despite that, Corrections said authorities in both countries had undertaken significant planning in the event he is ever released back to New Zealand.

That could include using a new law that allows Corrections to closely monitor high risk offenders.

At the time Tait murdered his partner, he was on parole for the attempted murder of his wife.

When he was sentenced, the judge described him as an extraordinarily dangerous young man, and the police called him evil.

The next time he will be considered for release by the parole board is 2017.

The monitoring of deported criminals has been a contentious issue in recent months, after Australia toughened its immigration rules and began deporting New Zealanders, and other non-citizens, sentenced to a year or more in prison, or convicted of a sexual offence against a child.

Last month, New Zealand Justice Minister Amy Adams brought in a supervision regime that allows deportees to be monitored in the same way as people who have served time in New Zealand prisons.