After spending more than half his life in custody, convicted killer Leith Rex Ray is set to be released on parole.

The 43-year-old is serving a life sentence for the double murder of Te Akau couple John and Josie Harrisson in June 1994.

The elderly couple were in their home when Ray and Gresham Kirsten Leith Marsh broke in and shot them.

At the time, Ray was 19 years old and Marsh was 22.


Ray was granted parole in February 2016 but was recalled weeks later.

He had breached parole conditions when he tested positive for methamphetamine - which he denied knowingly consuming.

In the Parole Board's latest decision Ray described himself as a "recovering addict" who "needed all the support he could get".

It noted he had completed 10 hours of treatment with a psychologist and had completed a safety plan.

He had also completed an eight-week Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Intensive Programme, followed by a six-month Maintenance and Aftercare Programme, from which he had "learnt a great deal".

"He acknowledges that he has a long-standing problem with cannabis and that when he shot his victims he was affected by that and other drugs," the report said.

The parole board also noted he had gained further credits towards his National Certificate in Agriculture.

Under parole Ray would be electronically monitored and subjected to special release conditions.


The conditions included attending any assessments ordered by probation, not to leave his approved address overnight and not to enter the township of Te Akau, or North of the Bombay Hills, South Auckland, unless with prior written permission of a probation officer.

These release conditions would continue until March 12, 2023.