Vital information that prison inmate Graeme Burton had assaulted other prisoners and tried to arrange a "hit" on a guard was not fully given to the Parole Board when it decided to release him, a coroner's court was told yesterday.
Wellington coroner Garry Evans is holding an inquest into the death of Wainuiomata father of two Karl Kuchenbecker, 26, who was murdered by Burton after he was paroled.
Burton killed Mr Kuchenbecker and injured four others in a murderous crime spree on the hills above Lower Hutt on January 6 while running from the police after breaching his parole conditions.
He had been paroled in July 2006 after serving more than 14 years for murder.
The court was told that while preparing an assessment of Burton's risk of reoffending, a psychologist learned there were allegations he had been involved in recent violent episodes in prison.
Nick Lascelles, a clinical psychologist contracted to the Corrections Department's psychological services, was asked to assess Burton's risk of reoffending for the Parole Board.
Mr Lascelles said that during the assessment process he was told of allegations that Burton had assaulted three other inmates and had offered $8000 to another prisoner to do "a hit" on a guard.
A variety of clinical assessment tools found Burton had a moderate to high risk of reoffending.
Previously his risk had been assessed as "very high".
In his interviews with Burton, Mr Lascelles found there had been some apparent improvement - Burton maintained a pleasant demeanour and showed some insight into ways of managing his anger.
But Mr Lascelles noted that if the violence allegations were found to have substance this showed there had been no change in Burton's behaviour.
He flagged these matters in his report to the board and offered it two scenarios and conclusions on Burton's risk - with the ultimate assessment depending on whether the violence allegations were true.
"Given those allegations I did not support Mr Burton being released," Mr Lascelles told the court.
He said portions of his report appeared to have been taken out of context.
Katrina Casey, the Corrections Department's general manager of community probation and psychological services, told the court that information about the allegations against Burton was not in the report to the Parole Board, and should have been.
A prison manager had given information to Mr Lascelles and expected the board would seek more information from jail staff, but this was an incorrect approach, she said.
"The information should have been put in front of the board."
Ms Casey also detailed the management of Burton by his probation officer after his release.
She concluded that the probation officer had done a "reasonable job" of trying to manage a difficult and manipulative offender.
Earlier, Detective Inspector Shane Cotter told the inquest that Mr Kuchenbecker - described as a "loving, supportive and devoted father" - was shot and stabbed to death by Burton.
Burton shot Mr Kuchenbecker three times, then when he managed to get to his feet stabbed him with the hunting knife, the fatal blow penetrating his lungs and spine.
"Karl Kuchenbecker died where he lay," Mr Cotter said.
Burton admitted the murder and other crimes and in April was sentenced to preventive detention with a 26-year non-parole period.
The hearing will resume tomorrow.
CROSSING PATHS WITH AN ARMED KILLER
* Karl Kuchenbecker, a 26-year-old truck driver, was riding his quad-bike in the hills above the Wellington suburb of Wainuiomata on January 6 when he crossed paths with fugitive Graeme Burton.
* Burton, who had recently been paroled after serving a life sentence for the 1992 murder of Wellington lighting technician Paul Anderson, was hiding from police searching for him in connection with a string of violent incidents in the capital.
* Burton shot Mr Kuchenbecker several times before stabbing him. Burton told police he stabbed Mr Kuchenbecker as "a hunter would do to put a wounded animal out of its misery".
* Burton also fired at several other mountainbikers before levelling a shotgun at police, who fired first. He was wounded, and his right leg was later amputated. For his second murder, Burton was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 26 years.
* Wellington coroner Garry Evans is holding an inquest this week into the cause of Mr Kuchenbecker's death and what lessons can be learned to prevent similar fatalities.