The man who murdered schoolboy Augustine Borrell at a party in Auckland's Herne Bay in 2007 is now free after being granted parole.

Haiden Mark Davis was released from prison this week after appearing before the Parole Board earlier this month.

On September 8, 2007 he fatally stabbed Augustine during a confrontation at a party.

At the time Davis, then 18, was on bail for an aggravated assault.

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In 2009 he was jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

Police examine a scene on Hamilton Rd where Augustine Borrell was stabbed to death outside a party which had been shut down. Photo / NZ Herald
Police examine a scene on Hamilton Rd where Augustine Borrell was stabbed to death outside a party which had been shut down. Photo / NZ Herald

He was refused parole when he appeared before the board in May.

But this month it no longer deemed him to be a risk to the public, and ruled he could be released from prison.

Davis is now 30.

Parole Board chairman Sir Ron Young said when Davis was seen in May he had completed his rehabilitation programmes and was on the reintegrative part of his sentence.

"He was also on release to work and it seems had been offered a permanent job with his release to work employer," Sir Ron said in his decision, released to the Herald today.

"Overall, he had made excellent progress."

READ MORE:
August: A gentle achiever
Murderer 'kicked us in the head', says Augustine Borrell's father
Father blames bail system for son's murder

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When the board saw Davis this month, that progress had continued.

Young said he had a permanent job confirmed for when he was freed and an appropriate release address away from "his old offending grounds" which he was "better away from".

"We are satisfied he is no longer an undue risk and can be released," he said.

Two of the many friends that turned up to pay their respects at the funeral service for Augustine Borrell. Photo / NZ Herald
Two of the many friends that turned up to pay their respects at the funeral service for Augustine Borrell. Photo / NZ Herald

"As we have noted, he has completed all his rehabilitation.

"He has done significant reintegration.

"He has had guided releases to accommodation.

"He has talked to his family about his safety plan and overall has a supportive situation."
Davis was released on Monday, but is subject to a number of conditions set by the board.

Those include:

• A curfew from 10pm-5am which will remain in place until his monitoring hearing in March

• Attending a reintegration meeting and any programmes, treatment or counselling as directed by his probation officer

• Not to have any contact with the Borrell family or any other victims of his previous offending

• Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed by a health professional

Sir Ron also ordered Davis to undergo a drug or alcohol test and or submit to drug or alcohol monitoring if required.

In 2012 Augustine's father Charlie Borrell said he had "no doubt" his son would still be alive if Davis had been denied bail.

In a cruel twist, Davis was granted bail again after the murder.

The Borrells had to hire their own lawyer to get the matter back before a judge and have him relocated.

Charlie Borrell and Agnes Borrell, the parents of murdered Auckland Grammar student Augustine Borrell. Photo / NZ Herald
Charlie Borrell and Agnes Borrell, the parents of murdered Auckland Grammar student Augustine Borrell. Photo / NZ Herald

"The justice system was taunting me ... I came so close to losing more than my son," Charlie Borrell said in 2012 in a presentation to a law and order select committee hearing submissions on the Bail Amendment Bill.

"If you don't make the right decision now, sooner or later someone is going to take the law into their own hands. I can honestly say I almost did that myself."

WHO WAS AUGUSTINE BORRELL?

This article was first published in the Herald in September 2007.

Augustine Borrell was not your typical aspiring teen. He owned three motorcycles, a car, and had saved almost enough for a deposit on a home he hoped to buy by Christmas.

He ran his own business.

Dedication and hard work had also helped him become a talented rugby player and boxer. His family and friends, sports coaches and teammates speak of a quiet achiever, a humble, charismatic and gentle boy.

Teachers say he was also succeeding at school. He had dreams of becoming a physical education teacher and he had the nous to follow in his father's footsteps as an entrepreneur.

All of that ended in the early hours of last Sunday. August, as his family and friends call him, was stabbed in the chest and killed after a party in Hamilton Rd in the affluent Auckland suburb of Herne Bay.

An 18-year-old male has been charged with murder and granted name suppression. Though August may have been associated with taggers, police say he had no known gang link.

The story of his life begins 40 years ago with the decision of his grandmother, the matriarch Hakirau Tereora, to move the family to New Zealand for the greater opportunities she foresaw here.

She, her husband Frank Borrell and their four children left Penrhyn, the northernmost of the 15 islands that make up the Cook Islands, and settled in Mangere.

The oldest of the four children was Charlie Borrell, August's father.

Frank Borrell with his sisters Regina and Sabrina outside their family home in Papatoetoe with a photo of their brother Augustine. Photo / NZ Herald
Frank Borrell with his sisters Regina and Sabrina outside their family home in Papatoetoe with a photo of their brother Augustine. Photo / NZ Herald

In the traumatic days following August's death, Tai Walter-Benedito has taken the role of family spokesman.

He's 33, a Manukau police constable and August's cousin.

He grew up virtually as a brother to August and now owns the Mangere home that Hakirau and Frank set up for the many family members who followed them to start new lives working in New Zealand.

Tai had such a strong bond with Hakirau that when his own parents moved to Australia, she asked them to leave Tai with her family.

Tai says it was like losing a mother when Hakirau, terminally ill with cancer, went home to Penrhyn in 1993.

Known as "the mother to all", Hakirau was headstrong and resourceful, someone who saw things ahead of time, traits inherited by Charlie, and in turn by August, Charlie and wife Agnes' third child.

August leaves behind siblings Regina, 22, Frank, 19, Sabrina, 14, and 3-year-old twins Edouard and Litania.

An entrepreneur with an engineer's trade, Charlie Borrell is the director of three companies. His main interest, Airopac Industries in Manukau, makes plastic bubble-wrap packaging, which he set up after building and designing its machines from scratch.

The company employs up to 15 family members and August worked there at every opportunity.

Charlie's entrepreneurial skills were apparent in his early teens when he would buy, restore and resell cars. He saw the route to success for his family in a good education (his children went to Auckland Grammar school and Baradene College) and leading by example to teach them the merits of hard work, self-dependence and giving back to their community.

Borrell Investments is a consistent sponsor of youth sports.

"If it's to do with the community - the Cook Island community - and especially to do with youth, he's 100 per cent supportive," Tai says.

"He saw that there was a big need for kids in that 16 to 19-year-old age group, to keep them out of trouble."

Charlie was among a group who founded the Penrhyn Sports Club, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next month. The club is made up of Penrhyn immigrants in south Auckland and they compete against other Cook Island sports teams.

One of the last photos taken of August shows him with Penrhyn's icons - palm trees, a shark and a pearl - embroidered on his Penrhyn B rugby jersey.

"His Dad was a foundation player for the team and that was one of his aspirations, to make the same team," explains Tai. "This was the first year that he played for us which was a crowning moment for him and also for Dad to see him running. He got to play alongside Frank and myself."

On the day he died, August played two more games for Penrhyn in the annual Cook Islands field-day.

August's business nous is evident in the Airopac-branded marquee now erected at the family's six-bedroom home in Papatoetoe to shelter the mourners. Charlie bought the marquee for sports and family occasions and August bought it from him a year ago for $2000 and rented it out - $150 for birthdays, $50 for funerals, with chairs available at a dollar each.

Tai laughs as he explains that though August could erect the marquee single-handedly, it took three people to complete the easier task of pulling it down when they needed to move it for his funeral.

August worked at Airopac after school and during holidays.

"He'd do some long shifts," says Tai. "He filled in wherever our Dad needed him. That's why he saved up so much money.

"Dad might ask him to do a morning shift and then he'd go and play rugby and then he'd go back and carry on again. He almost had enough money saved up to buy a house."

He'd rise at 6am to go to the gym before school and was renowned for his fitness, probably the benchmark for the Cook Islands Under-19's says fitness trainer and teammate Rima Strickland.

Warren Lincoln, his coach at Grammar, described him as a likely candidate for the first IV, an "impact hooker - my [All Black] Kevin Mealamu".

"He was always a gentleman on the field as well, in the sense that what he did was always fair. He played hard but that's where it finished."

His Papatoetoe Boxing Club coach, Grant Arkell, says August had talent and a "cool-headedness" which won him bouts against more experienced opponents.

August won three fights to be runner-up in the North Island Golden Gloves competition in Taupo in May.

August's friends say he was calm, funny, loved his hair and eating. He'd also had a girlfriend for six months.

He had started the hand signal they all do, posing for photos and joking around, a reference to August's favourite movie the Boondock Saints, in which two brothers believe they have a calling from God to kill mafia sinners. But the "Boondok" symbol, as August spelled it, has nothing to do with gangs, his friends say.

"It's just a thing, coming up with a new name, something the boys do to stand out." The signal has become incorporated with what they say is Auckland Grammar students' long-standing nickname for one another, "Grammar Souljah (Soldier)".

Last Saturday August ate his favourite snack of canned tuna and rice, showered, dressed in his "Nike Air Force Ones" shoes, trackpants and a favourite black T-shirt and headed off to watch rugby on television.

His family is unsure how he ended up at Hamilton Rd but believe he made a snap decision to go.

"Augustine and Dad's relationship was based on honesty," says Tai. "If August was going to a party he would have told Dad straightaway. Dad would have said 'have a good time, be careful' as usual."

It was Tuesday before August returned home. When he did, he was in a casket.

He was buried at Mangere Cemetery wearing his school "number ones".

In his casket are family gifts, a rugby jersey from each of his four teams, rosary beads, and the intricate, traditional Cook Island "tivaevae" painstakingly crafted by the family's matriarch.

Tai: "There's four 'L's in life. The first thing is you want to live. The next is you live to love. Next thing, you live to learn. The last is you want to leave a legacy".

"You can tell that August had a good legacy because at his time of death no one can say a bad word about him."