Dunedin woman's killer denied parole

Karen Jacobs battered body was found by her mother, Maureen Watson. Photo / Supplied
Karen Jacobs battered body was found by her mother, Maureen Watson. Photo / Supplied

A 44-year-old man who stabbed his former partner to death using a combination of knives and a spade has been denied parole.

At a parole board hearing on April 30, Gareth Lawrence Smither was declined on the basis that ''he poses an undue risk to the safety of the community'' and a ''moderate risk of both violent and sexual re-offending'', decision documents released today said.

Gareth Lawrence Smither  leaving court after facing a charge for the murder of Karen Jacobs. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Gareth Lawrence Smither leaving court after facing a charge for the murder of Karen Jacobs. Photo / Otago Daily Times

Smither was found guilty of murdering Karen Jacobs in her Dunedin home in July, 1997, after stabbing her with knives and a garden spade while her 2-year-old daughter, Georgina, was in the next room.

Her battered body was found by her mother, Maureen Watson.

A recent psychological assessment report for Smither suggested his risk of violent and sexual recidivism was high, and a decision could not be made on his safe release until he ''had been tested over time'' in a ''variety of situations''.

Smither was previously denied parole in April 2014 for synthetic drug use and ''deceitful and dishonest'' behaviour in 2013.

His next parole hearing would be in or before April 2018.

- Otago Daily Times

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