Key Points:

Graeme Burton thought he was doing society a favour by shutting down Wellington's drug dealers, the convicted murderer's account of his time on the run says.

However, he claims that during a confrontation with police - minutes after he had murdered father-of-two Karl Kuchenbecker - he realised he was the bad guy.

"I had to be shot quick," Burton said in a personal submission to the Parole Board inquiry which examined his six months of freedom.

"I saw the police and thought, 'It's over'. I was happy. I ran at them smiling, thinking, 'It's over, thank God it's over'. The police shot me and I was hit in the artery in my leg. I thought I'd bleed out. I surrendered as I thought death was certain.

"Unfortunately, that was not the case, much to my disgust, as I wanted to be killed. I was gutted that I wasn't killed."

Burton's injuries saw his leg amputated. He has pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Kuchenbecker and is awaiting sentencing.

His extraordinary account was released yesterday with a report by Corrections in which the department cleared itself of blame for Burton's murderous rampage.

As criticism mounted over official responses to the paroling and supervision of Burton, Prime Minister Helen Clark criticised Corrections and the Parole Board for being too "legalistic" in their handling of the convicted killer.

Burton was serving a life sentence for the 1992 murder of Wellington lighting technician Paul Anderson when he was paroled in July 2006.

His submission - which contains claims Corrections Department staff strongly disagree with - recounts a rapid slide into drug taking and crime, and a bid to establish himself as the predominant gangster in Wellington.

It also shows an increasingly paranoid man, battling with his next-door neighbour and convinced he was pursued by authorities and criminals. Burton's new home was the bottom unit in a four-flat block down a hillside in the Wellington suburb of Kingston.

His biggest issue was an upstairs neighbour, who would bang on the floor if he heard the slightest noise below.

"I told the probie [probation officer] about the mad neighbour and that he'd threatened to kill the other neighbour.

It was a high-risk situation, as well as a highly confrontational situation," Burton said. It was "doing his head in" living next to a "psycho", and Burton got a pump action shotgun for protection against the neighbour and "former enemies".

Burton said he had money troubles, and quit a training course because he had to get a job. He moved from his home- where his parole conditions said he had to live - and began "taxing" Wellington's criminals.

"The pressure got to me so I started using a kaleidoscope of drugs, which I got for free because I knew everyone who knew me from jail and they wanted to stay on my good side."

Burton said he was detained by police shortly afterwards and told to leave town. He had not lived in the flat for a month, and was not there when police raided it a week later.

"I was acquiring a store of weapons for a final shootout with the police as I didn't want to return to jail," Burton said.

"I was on the run with no dole, living on crime, waiting for a big score to get enough money to get out of the country. It was difficult, as border controls are tight.

"I knew if I didn't make enough money quickly I'd die at the hands of the police if I wasn't got by my enemies first. I felt fully hunted under immense pressure, determined never to go back to jail alive as I knew the lag would be huge."

Corrections comments on the submission said Burton had "one of the best reintegration plans ever". He had not raised issues about the flat, and did not complain about his neighbour until September. His probation officer said she helped sort out Burton's troubles with Work and Income, that she had never told him he had to get a job, and that Burton had a number of people to give him help and support after his release.

In several places, the probation officer said Burton was lying, and especially that Burton never begged her to be sent back to prison.

From back behind bars, Burton wrote that his initial release should not have worried the community, but lack of support and monitoring afterwards should.

"I felt like I could get away with my offending because there were no checks and balances, no measures put in place by the Corrections Department. I had no real integration and rehabilitation in the community before I was paroled," Burton said.