11 Oct 2017

Dunedin murderer Trounson released again

12:40 pm on 11 October 2017

Dunedin murderer George Charles Trounson, 45, will be released on parole this month for the seventh time.

Trounson beat Russell Neil, 17, to death with part of a wooden balustrade in Dunedin in 1990. Mr Neil was his flatmate.

Trounson was a 19-year-old polytechnic student at the time he was sentenced, in 1991, to life imprisonment.

He has a chequered history on parole, having been released six times since his imprisonment. He had been recalled on every occasion and spent more than 10 months on the run from authorities in 2013.

George Charles Trounson

George Charles Trounson Photo: Supplied / New Zealand Police

Trounson would be supported outside the wire by an intensive reintegration support programme, the Parole Board said.

"Overall, there has been a positive shift in his behaviour and attitude since a long standing medical issue has been resolved," the board said in its decision released this morning.

"The principal factor leading to Mr Trounson's offending and all of his recalls has been the disinhibiting effects of alcohol.

"It seems that, at long last, he has shown that he can apply the lessons learned in the treatment and counselling he has engaged in since he has been in custody."

Trounson would remain subject to parole conditions for life and faced further restrictions - including a ban on alcohol and an order to notify his probation officer before entering any intimate relationships - for five years following release.

The parole board withheld the location of the community reintegration facility where Trounson would be housed upon release, but noted his problematic history at such residences.

"Over the years Mr Trounson has engaged with most available reintegrative support providers," the decision said.

"[This] is really his last chance.

"He is aware that the staff there will not hesitate to exit him from the programme if he does not engage with it and satisfactorily comply with the house rules."

Trounson will appear before the parole board again in March 2018 to assess his release.