The getaway driver for RSA triple murderer William Bell may be released from prison next month - nearly two years early.

Darnell Kere Tupe was sentenced to 12 years' jail after being found guilty on three charges of manslaughter and one of aggravated robbery, following the December 2001 killings.

His sentence was due to end on December 14, 2013, but he will be back before the Parole Board next month. At his last hearing in October, his parole application was declined but the board noted Tupe was "well on his way in his re-integration back into the community".

Tupe, who waited outside in the carpark and took off before Bell left the RSA, had completed Maori therapeutic and medium-intensity rehabilitation programmes, the board said. He was in the release-to-work programme, had been on day parole and had been granted leave to attend a tangi.


At the October hearing, the board heard Tupe had an address to go to with an approved person on release. The board recommended longer day paroles with an unnamed person, as well as overnight stays to determine his suitability for release.

The only survivor of the RSA attacks in which three people died, Susan Couch, says she was grappling with the "inevitability" of Tupe's release.

"He's just about served his time," she said. "If it's not tomorrow, it's next year - not a lot you can do about it."