Tamihere in court on parole breach

By Edward Gay

David Tamihere. Photo / Sarah Ivey
David Tamihere. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Convicted double killer David Tamihere will defend a charge of breaching his parole conditions after flying over the Coromandel crime scene with a television crew.

While the Parole Board described the fly-over as "incredibly stupid'', it decided against recalling Tamihere to prison over the alleged breach.

However, the Department of Corrections chose to lay a charge.

Tamihere pleaded not guilty at his first appearance in Waitakere District Court in March and was back in court this morning.

A lawyer for the Department of Corrections said a day's hearing in November and the department intends to call three witnesses to give evidence about what Tamihere's conditions were.

Tamihere is also expected to give evidence in his own defence.

Judge Russell Callander today remanded Tamihere at large.

Tamihere, 58, was released in late 2010 after spending 20 years in prison for the murders of Urban Hoglin, 23, and Heidi Paakkonen, 21.

Ms Paakkonen's body has never been found.

The Herald revealed in March that Tamihere flew over the Coromandel Peninsula, where the Swedish tourists were last seen alive, in a helicopter with a TVNZ crew for current affairs show Sunday.

His parole conditions state he cannot visit the region past Kopu and Whangamata without Probation Service approval.

The Corrections Department applied to the Parole Board to recall him to prison.

In a decision from the Parole Board chairman earlier this month, Judge David Carruthers said Tamihere believed flying over the exclusion zone did not breach his release conditions.

"The purpose and the spirit of the condition was clear. He did not think that to be the case ... We are clear that the purpose of that condition was to respect victims' interests.''

As a result of the helicopter trip, Judge Carruthers said the condition was amended in March so the zone was completely out of bounds for Tamihere.

- APNZ

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