A 70-year-old convicted murderer who was locked up again after becoming embroiled in an international fraud scam is losing hope, her family says.

Joyce Eilleen Blondell (aka Conwell) was jailed for 14 months when she appeared before the Timaru District Court in June on money-laundering charges.

The pensioner was targeted by a Nigerian fraudster via Facebook.

"Joe Weimer", as he called himself, had convinced her they were in love and he was coming to New Zealand, while siphoning stolen cash through her bank accounts, family told the Otago Daily Times.


By April 2016, $100,000 had travelled overseas from her various accounts.

Until then, Blondell had been living the quiet life in Oamaru for five years while on parole.

She was released into the community after serving 12 years for a murder her family are convinced she did not commit.

In 1999, out of the blue, Blondell went to the Dunedin police station and confessed to providing a shotgun to Murray Childs, which he had used to kill Alex Rodgers in Christchurch.

At the same time, she also claimed she attacked her friend Doreen Middlemiss in a Lees St care facility 15 months earlier.

She was charged with murder and attempted murder and promptly pleaded guilty before receiving a life term.

Though a 2014 Independent Police Conduct Authority report found shortcomings in the police investigation around the murder, it stopped short of clearing Blondell.

She appeared before the Parole Board earlier this month.


"She was hopeful she was maybe going to get out," a relative told the ODT.

But she was comprehensively knocked back by the board in its recently released decision.

"In all, we fall well short of being satisfied that if released, Ms [Blondell] would not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community ... Ms [Blondell] would benefit from a period of engagement with the psychologist," it said.

The family member — who spoke on condition of anonymity — did not believe the pensioner was a threat to anyone and was concerned she would give up.

"It's been seven months [behind bars] but I do honestly believe she is struggling to come to terms with it," she said, "I don't think she does have hope."

The woman said being locked up was "constantly reminding her of the mistakes she's made".

Though Blondell did not want therapy, her relative said she needed it.

"She just got worked over majorly [through the scam]," she said.

Parole Board panel convener Neville Trendle said they were sceptical of Blondell's remorse.

"She said that she accepted responsibility for her offending, though her discussion with us left us in considerable doubt as to the wholesomeness of that acceptance," he said.

Mr Trendle also cited the woman's fractious relationship with her probation officer as pointing to "issues of entitlement".

"In addition to Ms [Blondell] working with the psychologist, we invite her case manager to work with her to develop a far stronger release plan than is presently before the board."

Blondell's next parole hearing was a year away but family understood it might be brought forward.