Child killer Anthony Lawrence (Tony) Roma has resumed his life sentence for the murder of a young boy in his Napier home 27 years ago.

The recall was confirmed yesterday in a Parole Board decision from a hearing held on July 9, a month after being returned to jail following his involvement in a motor accident, which had revealed he had been consuming alcohol in breach of conditions his release conditions.

The board determined there would be "undue risk" in allowing Roma back into the free society, panel convenor Alan Ritchie saying that "quite apart from breach of conditions and the commission of an offence punishable by imprisonment...we have no option but to make a final recall order."

Roma, now 52, does have another appointment with an "extended board" in November but Ritchie said his panel could offer Roma no assurances about the outcome.


It wasn't the first time release conditions had been breached by Roma who entered a family's home on Madeira Steps overlooking St John's Cathedral, on the Sunday morning of April 14, 1991, and attacked sleeping seven-year-old Simon Reaney, along with brother Michael, 11, and father, Napier accountant and former top representative rugby player Stephen Reaney.

Bludgeoned with a car jack Roma had taken from a Tennyson St workshop, Simon Reaney suffered critical injuries and died in hospital about a fortnight later.

Roma had spent about a week on the run, fleeing Napier after torching a Milton Rd flat where he had stayed. He captured in a farm paddock in Central Hawke's Bay.

An insanity plea at his trial was rejected and he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

He was first released in 2003 but was back in jail the following year after breaching parole and committing an indecent act in a public place. He was released again in 2011, and escaped a final recall order in 2016 after being caught drink-driving.

Ritchie at the hearing himself identified "the essential question" of whether his release would be an undue risk to public safety.

Roma believed he had been discharged prematurely from treatment he had been receiving and was left without strength he needed in the community.