12 Jan 2012

Dean Wickliffe sent back to jail

6:27 pm on 12 January 2012

Dean Wickliffe, one of New Zealand's most notorious criminals, has been recalled to prison.

The convicted killer and jail-breaker says he feels remorse for cooking methamphetamine while on parole and did it because he needed the money.

The 63-year-old life parolee pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday to one charge each of manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing the drug, also known as "P", for supply.

In December last year, Wickliffe was arrested and jailed after a police raid in Maketu where he was found with about 128 grams of methampetamine.

At that time Wickliffe appeared before the Parole Board, which released its decision on Thursday saying it had no alternative but to send him back to jail.

In May last year, he was granted parole after having been jailed in 2009 for possession of drugs, a firearm and bullets.

Wickliffe has spent more than half his life in prison. He was first jailed for shooting a Wellington jeweller in 1972.

He was convicted of murder but the charge was later downgraded to manslaughter. A second murder conviction was quashed in 1998 and he was later acquitted of that charge in a retrial.

Wickliffe is one of the few people to have escaped twice from the high security prison at Paremoremo in Auckland.

His lawyer Glenn Dixon says Wickliffe has been trying to turn his life around, but succumbed to the temptation to make some money for what he considered very important needs.

Wickliffe will be sentenced on the drug charges in February.

Throw away key, says trust

The Sensible Sentencing Trust hopes the Parole Board will finally throw away the key now Dean Wickliffe has been jailed again.

Spokesperson Garth McVicar says over the past few months it has been contacted by a number of people worried about Wickliffe's behaviour.

The trust passed that on to the Parole Board and says it is time he stays behind bars for good.

"I think we're just wasting the taxpayers' money, we're putting the public at risk by even attempting to rehabilitate him.

"He doesn't want to be rehabilitated - he just wants to go back to jail; so he's going to commit a crime and someone's gong to get hurt."