The outraged family of murdered man Raymond Mullins says the release of one of his brutal teenage killers is like being "kicked in the teeth".
Katrina Fenton was 20 when she was sentenced to life in 2000. Her sister Natalie Fenton, who was 15 at the time, and their cousin Daniella Bowman, 18, were also convicted for their part in the frenzied slaying.
The Papatoetoe engineer was stabbed repeatedly by the younger Fenton in April 1999. Katrina Fenton beat his head with a hammer, while Bowman laid into him with a pot.
This week, Katrina Fenton was granted parole and released from prison. It was recommended that she not live in Auckland "out of respect" for the Mullins family.
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Relatives of the victim are devastated she is out.
"We are appalled at this decision. It is cruel. It is like being kicked in the teeth," Mullins' daughter Leigh-Anne told the Herald on Sunday.
"Fenton was turned down for parole in February because she had been caught taking drugs in jail, so how can she be a reformed character?"
As part of her parole, Fenton has been ordered to attend drug and alcohol counselling, focussing on relapse prevention. She will also undergo a psychological assessment.
The Sensible Sentencing Trust was also shocked at the early release. "Considering the level of violence displayed in this murder and knowing Katrina Fenton was still taking drugs a few months before her release, this decision is crazy," spokesman Ruth Money said.