It was a gruesome crime. In 2005, Teresa Gunn and boyfriend Andrew Grabner were brutally killed when Gunn's jealous former partner, Jason Reihana, stormed into her Tauranga home and went on a stabbing spree. Reihana was convicted of their murders in 2007 and sentenced to life, with a non-parole period of 21 years. But Reihana is out after serving only 12 of those 21 years - and Gunn's family are furious. Kiri Gillespie investigates why the killer is free, what impact this has had on victims left behind and why police are saying sorry.
The father of a Tauranga woman stabbed to death in a frenzied attack by her former partner is angry her killer is out of jail seven years early and now living nearby - and no one told him.
Dave Gunn has received a police apology after no one informed him or his family that Jason Reihana - the man who killed his daughter, Teresa - had been let out early on compassionate grounds.
In June 2007, Reihana was jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 21 years for the slaying of Teresa Gunn, his former partner and the mother of his two sons.
Gunn's new boyfriend at the time, Andrew Grabner, was also killed in the 2005 attack on Greerton's Mansels Rd.
The sentence was New Zealand's sixth-longest non-parole period.
The revelation Reihana is out has outraged Leader of the Opposition and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges, who was the Crown prosecutor in the case. He is calling for an investigation into the matter.
Reihana has Myelofibrosis leukaemia, which he was diagnosed with not long after being imprisoned.
The New Zealand Parole Board confirmed to the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend that Reihana was released on July 17 due to a serious illness he was not expected to recover from. The application was Reihana's second after his first was declined on June 5.
Dave Gunn, who lives in Hamilton, said the family only found out about Reihana's release after one of their grandchildren, Reihana's son, went to visit his cousin's place nearby.
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"We've no objection to the kids hanging out with family. One of his cousins came around to pick him up. He came back afterwards and said, 'I just saw dad'."
The family was horrified.
"All of our family filled out forms saying that if he was ever released, we would be advised. I delivered them to the courthouse myself. We've had nothing from them."
Gunn was now writing to the parole board to demand answers.
Following questions from the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend, the Department of Corrections said it was now urgently reconsidering the suitability of Reihana's address.
"He was given 21 years non-parole, which would take me to 72 years old. I'm 65 years old now," Gunn said. "It had a huge impact on us. My wife still wakes up at night with nightmares."
Gunn said he was "pissed off" and feared for what upset family members might do to Reihana and the repercussions of that.
"It's opened up all of the old hurt again. It's been a kick in the guts," Gunn said.
"He should finish the non-parole period, which I don't reckon was long enough but that's what it was."
A month after sentencing, it was revealed Reihana was to receive a bone marrow transplant, costing the taxpayer $1 million and causing outrage at the time.
Gunn said he and his family felt "hugely let down" by the system. They did not believe the compassionate grounds of Reihana's early release were justified compared to the horror of his actions.
"My biggest question is: A judge sentenced someone to 21 years non-parole, they let him out early. What right do they have to override a decision like that?
"He's just a piece of s***, and that's putting it mildly."
Bridges said the Reihana case was one of the most serious he had dealt with in his career and he still could not go past Mansels Rd without thinking of the victims.
Bridges said Reihana's sentence was one of the longest in New Zealand history "and that was because of the gruesomeness and that premeditation and the murder of two people in cold blood".
"The public expect the minimum non-parole period is what it is. No ifs, no buts. Questions should be asked."
Bridges said his biggest concern was for the family of the victims.
"For them to have found out about this literally by seeing him is an entirely unacceptable breach of process. It's absolutely outrageous what has happened to that family. That they have seen him and not been told.
"There needs to be a significant, formal investigation into how this happened."
When asked what consideration was given for the Gunn or Grabner family in its decision, a New Zealand Parole Board spokeswoman said there were no registered victims in Reihana's case and he had been released on compassionate grounds - not parole.
In its decision, the board considered Reihana's health and potential impact of stress if the decision did not go his way. Reihana's ill health meant he did not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community. He was no longer able to walk ... "or engage in any physical activity".
The decision stated that Reihana was not to have contact, directly or indirectly, with any victim of his offending without prior approval.
Department of Corrections' central region operations manager Louise Wood said a range of factors were considered when considering the suitability of an offender's address, "including proximity to registered victims". No concerns were identified as there were no registered victims, but this was now being urgently reviewed, she said.
When asked whether Reihana had permission to see his son, or what would happen to Reihana if he was found to have breached his conditions, Wood said during a visit to Reihana's home a number of family members were present including his son.
"Mr Reihana was advised that any further contact would require prior approval by Community Corrections. We are not aware of any ongoing contact with the son."
Victim registers which are used to alert people affected by a criminal case about any parole developments are usually overseen by New Zealand Police.
Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner, who helped work on the case at the time, said police took responsibility for victims seriously as "it goes to the heart of our people-centred approach".
"Unfortunately in this instance there was an administration error and the forms in question were not received by police. Police would like to apologise for this error."
Tauranga kaumatua Peri Kohu was Teresa Gunn's uncle and blessed her body as it was being led into the hearse after the attack.
Kohu said the entire situation was tragic but he would probably release Reihana too if it were up to him.
"His life will be terminated by his illness. That makes a difference to me. Otherwise, he should be there (in prison)."
Kohu said Reihana's punishment would continue beyond his mortal life.
Reihana could not be reached for comment.
What happened the night Teresa Gunn and Andrew Grabner were killed:
In 2007, the High Court in Rotorua heard how Jason Reihana never got over splitting up with Teresa Gunn.
Reihana repeatedly threatened Gunn after she ended their relationship, including saying he would kill her and anyone with whom she was involved. Witnesses said Gunn feared for her life.
On December 11, 2005, Reihana drove from his home at Te Kawa, south of Te Awamutu, to Gunn's Tauranga home armed with three knives. He kicked in the door and went to the front room, where she and Grabner were.
Gunn's brother-in-law, Wiki Ngarimu, was sleeping with his partner and 19-month-old daughter in a bedroom.
Reihana stabbed Grabner, who jumped out of a window to escape but made it only as far as the other side of the Mansels Rd, before dying of a wound to the leg.
Reihana then stabbed Ngarimu, who was seriously injured.
Gunn had escaped outside, but Reihana found her in the garden of a neighbouring house and was said to have stabbed her and spat on her body before turning the knife on himself.
Reihana was subdued by police while lying wounded next to Gunn's corpse.
According to a police dog handler, Reihana was stabbing himself in the chest and only stopped when the dog handler directed his dog to bite Reihana's arm.
Reihana reportedly remained on the ground, alternating between telling Gunn he loved her and abusing her.
Reihana allegedly threatened to kill ambulance, police and hospital staff and had to be handcuffed to a hospital gurney.
The court heard how he said, "I ******* killed her. I just want to die.''
He was also heard admitting he had killed Grabner and said "******* good job. I killed them and I don't regret it.''