7 Dec 2016

Scott Watson parole hearing decision reserved

4:42 pm on 7 December 2016

The Parole Board has reserved its decision on whether to release convicted double murderer Scott Watson from prison.

Scott Watson in High Court.

Scott Watson pictured in 2015. Photo: Pool / John Kirk-Anderson

He is serving a life sentence for the killing of Olivia Hope, 17, and Ben Smart, 21, in the early hours of New Year's Day in 1998.

Their remains have never been found.

Watson, 45, had a parole hearing yesterday, which RNZ News understands was lengthy.

The Board had indicated it would announce the outcome today.

But it now says the decision has been reserved and it hopes to announce the outcome before Christmas, once the victims families are informed.

Mr Watson's father said he had taken some positive signals from the parole hearing.

Chris Watson was at the Rolleston prison hearing yesterday alongside a supporter, Keith Hunter, and Watson's partner Christina Baker.

He said he took some positive indications from the board members.

"The psychiatrist on the board appeared to be quite combative and against things, and the other people - while not necessarily positive - didn't appear to be anti."

But he said his son had not been allowed onto rehabilitation courses, because he denied his guilt.

He said that was a 'catch-22' situation, which seemed illogical to him.

He said the Parole Board was due to issue its ruling in a fortnight.

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