No parole for killer for at least another two years

By Harrison Christian -
Ida Hawkins, 10 years ago, with a picture of her daughter, Colleen Burrows, 16, who was murdered in 1987. Photo/File
Ida Hawkins, 10 years ago, with a picture of her daughter, Colleen Burrows, 16, who was murdered in 1987. Photo/File

A killer serving a life sentence for the murder of a Hawke's Bay girl cannot request parole again until 2016, the Parole Board has ruled.

Sam Te Hei was sentenced to life imprisonment on November 19, 1987 for the murder of 16-year-old Colleen Burrows. Mr Te Hei was one of two men convicted for the murder in which Ms Burrows was kicked and run over by a vehicle in the middle of the night as gang members reacted to her refusal to have sex with them. Her body was found on June 19, 1987, in a reserve upstream of the Brookfields Bridge.

A Parole Board report dated April 22 and released yesterday said the board had made a postponement order in relation to Mr Te Hei until January 2016.

The report noted Mr Te Hei had displayed "problematical" behaviour in custody. Mr Te Hei had also requested to participate in escorted day outings and the Parole Board described his request as "a matter for Corrections to consider".

The mother of Colleen Burrows, Wairoa-based Ida Hawkins, told Hawke's Bay Today she was "absolutely rapt" with the decision. "I'm overwhelmed," Ms Hawkins said. "I'm so pleased I don't have to go through the trauma and relive that experience."

Travelling to Wellington for parole hearings was an annual occurrence for Ms Hawkins, which had taken its toll. "I used to practically beg them to make it a three-year thing," she said.

Sensible Sentencing Trust national spokesperson Garth McVicar said he was "ecstatic" for Ms Hawkins. Sensible Sentencing Trust had represented Ms Hawkins at the hearing, Mr McVicar said.

"From our point of view, it's safety for the public, but from Ida's point of view, it saves her and her family from the craziness of annual parole hearings."

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