5 Aug 2008

Kurariki's recall ruled unlawful

3:14 pm on 5 August 2008

A justice lobby group says the country's youngest convicted killer may now believe he is better off serving the last of his sentence in jail, after his recall to prison last week.

The High Court ordered the release of Bailey Junior Kurariki, who was recalled to prison for suspected drug use in breach of his parole conditions.

The court ruling on Monday questioned the basis for the recall and found the latest detention was unlawful.

Kim Workman from the justice lobby group Rethinking Crime and Punishment, told Morning Report that putting Kurariki back behind bars was the work of an over-zealous probation service.

He says the high-profile teenager might have reached the point of thinking he would be better off in prison rather than facing the barrage from the media and dealing with a probation service that is monitoring his every move but not providing him with any support.

While the court ruling says the suspected drug use was not grounds for recall, the judgment states that later tests were positive for cannabis use.

Kurariki will appear at a recall hearing held by the Parole Board next week.

He was 12 years old when he took part in the fatal assault of Michael Choy in 2001, and was subsequently convicted of manslaughter.

Michael Choy's mother, Rita Croskery, says Kurariki should not be allowed back where he has been staying. She says she is upset by the process and questions how Kurariki was able to get drugs.