Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Cop killer to remain behind bars

Carlos Namana will stay in prison for another year. Photo / Nicola Topping
Carlos Namana will stay in prison for another year. Photo / Nicola Topping

The man who murdered police officer Murray Stretch 17 years ago will stay in prison for another year following a Parole Board hearing this month.

Constable Stretch was killed in May 1999 by Carlos Namana. He responded to a burglary at Mangakino store and found Namana at the scene.

Mr Stretch chased the burglar and caught up with him at the entrance to the local hospital. Namana overpowered Mr Stretch and beat him to death. The officer died at the scene, the result of extensive head injuries.

Namana was arrested the next day and charged with murder. He would later plead guilty to the charge and was jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 16 years.

Constable Stretch was killed in May 1999 by Carlos Namana. Photo / Supplied
Constable Stretch was killed in May 1999 by Carlos Namana. Photo / Supplied

He became eligible for parole last year and was declined. He went before the board again on April 5 this year and did not seek an early release.

Since then he has completed a drug treatment programme in prison and a Parole Board report released today stated he was "making good progress".

However he had much more to do before he could be release.

The board said Namana need to complete further programmes and "prepare a relapse prevention plan". The report revealed Namana had approved accommodation for when he was released but had "high reintegration needs".

"That is not surprising given his lengthy time in prison. Once his rehabilitation treatment is finished, sound and sensible decisions will have to be made as to his reintegration pathway," the report said.

He is not seeking parole today and of course there is much more for him to do but his rehabilitation progress is very encouraging," said board panel convenor Justice David Gendall.

Namana would be seen again by the board in November this year.

- NZ Herald

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