Exclusive: Fears ‘very evil’ man who killed girlfriend could be sent back here.

A dangerous criminal who beat and strangled his girlfriend to death and photographed her body could be deported to New Zealand upon his release from jail - putting officials here on high alert.

Corrections will consider taking the unprecedented step of subjecting Richard Tait to a public protection order if he gets parole and is deported from Britain.

It would be the first application for such an order for a deportee, and would allow Tait to be detained at a secure facility within prison precincts.

Such is the concern that officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) stressed to UK authorities, via the High Commission, that they want to be alerted "absolutely asap" to the offender's deportation.


A July 29 aide-memoire to Justice Minister Amy Adams' office, obtained by the Herald under the Official Information Act, said officials expected to be notified via Interpol.

"Police will have a border alert against the UK-based offender's name that will ensure that, if he arrives in New Zealand on his New Zealand passport, he will be directed by Customs to a police interview," the aide-memoire says.

"The Department of Corrections may apply for a PPO. The application process will test whether there are sufficient grounds to apply to the court for an order."

Last night, Rachel Leota, Corrections' deputy national commissioner, said UK authorities had confirmed Tait would not be deported before he is paroled.

"Mr Tait will continue to be considered for release on parole by the UK parole board, with his next hearing scheduled for February 2017. "In the event that Mr Tait does return to New Zealand at a future date, significant planning between agencies both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom has been undertaken to ensure the safety of the public."

Tait lived in New Zealand as a child, and moved to Britain as a teenager. In early 2014, he successfully applied to have his UK citizenship formally rescinded, and is now considered a foreign offender.

In 1999, Tait, aged 30 at the time, was jailed for life for the rape and murder of his girlfriend, Kerry Scott, 24, at her home near Portsmouth.

Ms Scott's body was discovered by her younger sister and a neighbour. She was gagged with parcel tape and had suffered a fractured larynx, ruptured liver and severe bruising.


Tait was arrested in London shortly afterwards, and a camera found in his possession contained seven pictures of Ms Scott's dead body, the BBC reported.

He had previously served four years in jail for the rape and attempted murder of his wife in Britain in 1994, and was on probation when he murdered Ms Scott.

The BBC said that at his sentencing, the judge told Tait he "looked as if butter wouldn't melt in your mouth ... but I regard you as an extraordinarily dangerous young man".

After sentencing, Detective Inspector Nigel Niven of Hampshire police told media that Tait was "a very evil man", and he was "so relieved that he will never again be able to harm any member of the public".

New Zealand legislation was passed at the end of last year allowing the detention of "very high-risk individuals" within prison precincts beyond the end of their sentence.

Individuals subject to a public protection order will be housed in a residence separate from the main prison, Corrections' website said. The dwelling would have its own secure fence.

Earlier this month, Corrections made the first application for a public protection order, for Clinton Jacob Wilson, 39, who has completed a 14-year jail term for rape.

How to monitor deported criminals has been a major political issue this year, after an influx of deportees from Australia because of toughened immigration rules there.

In November, Ms Adams oversaw a law change that meant all deportees would be monitored in the same way as if they had served prison time here.