Dying ex-prisoner Vicki Letele speaks out, tells of her anger about lack of care inside

Cancer-stricken Vicki Letele has spoken out about the anger she feels towards the way she was treated in prison.

Letele, who has terminal cancer, was yesterday released from prison on compassionate grounds.

She told Duncan Garner after her first night out of prison that she was "very angry" at the way her condition was dealt with while she incarcerated.

"The medical area there is not fit, it really isn't, and trying to get ... seen by a doctor.

"The seven to eight weeks I was complaining [that] I've been sick and spewing daily ... not eating, not sleeping and they just gave me different medications all the time, and diagnosed me with heartburn."

"[I'm] very angry, I'm upset and I believe a change needs to come in that area."

She said after she complained that she couldn't lie down to sleep without vomiting, she was told "don't lie down" by prison staff, who also suggested she put her mattress up against the wall in order to sleep.

"The very next day I was taken to hospital."

She said she didn't see a doctor until five weeks of complaining about her symptoms.

Letele said she was planning to undergo tertiary study now that she was out of prison, as well as spending time with her family.

"I really want to enjoy every day I have. Seeing my family, seeing my boys [and] seeing my girl grow ... I really want to study a Bachelor of Theology."

She said her health has gone "backwards", but feels she will get "as best as she can" being at home.

"The support's been amazing, it's really what kept me going when I was inside.

"I know I'm only out sitting in my own house because of what everyone's done."

She also praised her brother, Dave Letele, a boxer known as the Brown Buttabean.

"I'm so blessed to have him as a brother."

The Parole Board yesterday cleared the way for the release of the cancer-stricken prisoner, who doctors estimate has about five months to live.

Special conditions of her release set by the board was that she live at the designated address, not give financial advice to anyone, or act as a financial manager, and report when directed to a probation officer.

Letele was eight months into a prison sentence of more than three years for fraud.

- NZ Herald

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