One of New Zealand's most high-profile criminals still faces a recall to prison by the Parole Board after being sentenced to 90 hours of community work for drink-driving last month.
Hugh Dean Tikahu Wickliffe, 69, appeared in Tauranga District Court today and pleaded guilty to two charges, one of breaching a special condition of his parole release by consuming alcohol and another of excess breath alcohol.
The charges relate to an incident on September 23 when he was caught driving along Parton Rd with an excess breath alcohol reading of 754 micrograms - just over three times the adult legal limit of 250 micrograms.
This is Wickliffe's fourth drink-driving offence. His previous three convictions were all in 1996, the court heard.
Judge Christina Cook also disqualified Wickliffe from driving for one year and one day.
According to the police summary of facts a member of the public reported seeing a car parked in the middle of Domain Rd with a person in the driver's seat.
Wickliffe's vehicle was picked up on CCTV and seen to mount a traffic island in Tawa Rd before it carried on to Parton Rd.
His vehicle was stopped by police at 12.35am for a routine traffic stop.
Wickliffe told police he had "too much to drink" and had been offered a ride home but did not want to bother his friends.
He is serving a life sentence for the manslaughter killing of Wellington jeweller Paul Miet during an armed robbery, a sentence originally imposed in 1972.
Wickliffe has been released and recalled to prison five times between 1987 and 2011.
In May 2011 he was released on parole but recalled within months after he was charged and later convicted of manufacturing P and possessing the drug for supply, following an armed police raid at his home.
In May 17 this year Wickliffe was granted parole subject to a number of special conditions as the Parole Board was satisfied he was a low-risk reoffender.
Those conditions included not possessing or consuming alcohol, illicit drugs or psychoactive substances.
At the hearing, Wickliffe told the board he wanted it to be his final time before them.
His lawyer Kerry Hadaway urged Judge Cook to impose community work, given it was 21 years since his last drink-driving offence, and Wickliffe had a lot of community support.
Ms Hadaway submitted a number of documents to the court, including a letter from Wickliffe, letters of support from his friends, and one from the Maketu Health and Social Services where Wickliffe had been doing voluntary work.
Ms Hadaway said Wickliffe accepted he "made a poor decision" after his ride fell through and community work was appropriate in all circumstances.
An interim prison recall application lodged by the Department of Corrections is scheduled to be heard on November 9.
Outside court Wickliffe told the Bay of Plenty Times he was relieved.
"I also want to say there is little point in sending me back to prison after 41 years. I made a mistake and I have learnt from it," he said.
Wickliffe said if the Parole Board was serious about recalling him to prison they would have already done so.
Wickliffe said he had already explained his reoffending in writing.
"I think the Parole Board wants to see me so I can explain myself in person which I will do on November 9," he said.