3 Nov 2010

Parole Board reserves Tamihere decision

9:01 am on 3 November 2010

The Parole Board has reserved its decision on an application by convicted double murderer David Tamihere.

After more than two decades in prison, Tamihere, 57, still denies the murders of Swedish backpackers Heidi Paakkonen and Urban Hoglin in 1989.

The hearing - Tamihere's 14th parole application - was heard at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo on Tuesday morning by a board chaired by Judge David Carruthers. Media representatives were banned from attending the hearing.

Tamihere's lawyer, Murray Gibson, his wife and at least one of his adult sons were to attend.

The victims' families, who want Tamihere kept in prison for the rest of his life, made a joint representation to the board.

The board sought reports on Tamihere's psychological state and residential restrictions for him on his release.

Radio New Zealand's justice reporter says Tamihere is understood to be living in a self-care unit at Springhill prison in Waikato, where he has a job as a painter. It is understood he has arthritis and a heart condition.

He has had three home leaves since August.

The board expects to issue its decision in a fortnight.