A man who viciously attacked his friend, then left him for dead on the floor of his lounge, says he is not a violent person.
Jason Karl Blackler, 51, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment before the High Court at Dunedin in 2018 after a jury found him guilty of the manslaughter of 66-year-old Alan James Fahey.
More recently, three months was added to that sentence for earlier domestic violence.
Despite accruing 176 convictions since 1985, the prisoner told the Parole Board at a hearing this month that he had not previously been convicted of "serious violence" and the sentences he had served had mostly been community-based.
He was not a violent man, he claimed.
A psychologist disagreed.
They told the board Blackler was a high risk of general and violent offending and he was scheduled to undertake the drug treatment programme and a special course which involved nine months of therapy and hundreds of hours of counselling.
Because of that, panel convener Martha Coleman had no hesitation in refusing early release.
Blackler revealed at the hearing he planned to appeal his conviction for manslaughter on the basis of a coronial report he recently received regarding Fahey's death.
The report, he said, concluded that the cause of death was not the beating he dealt out.
"He accepts that he should be convicted for that violence but, having received the coroner's report, he finds it hard to accept that he was appropriately convicted of manslaughter," Coleman said.
Blackler was drinking with Fahey at the victim's Brockville home on October 25, 2016 when the attack occurred.
It was suggested at trial the violence ensued when the victim made a crass comment about the defendant's family, but that was never confirmed.
Fahey suffered a fractured bone in his neck, a split lip from his mouth to his nose, a broken nose, a torn eyelid, as well as extensive bruising on the inner of both eye sockets, cheeks and throat.
He was found dead on the floor of his lounge the next day.
After the attack, forensic scientists said, evidence showed Blackler tried to clean the blood off himself in the bathroom.
He then rang his partner to say he thought he may have killed his best friend and called a taxi to take him to her home.
Family of Fahey — who described him as "kind and gentle" — told the Parole Board they were traumatised by what had happened and rigorously opposed Blackler's release.
"When he is released, whether on parole or at the end of his sentence, they do not want him to be released to Dunedin," Coleman said.
"Blackler told the board he respected the victims' wishes."
The prisoner would next be seen by the Parole Board in October 2022.
He may be transferred to Rolleston Prison before then for work-related reintegration, Coleman said.