A double murderer more recently convicted of perjury for lying during the trial of David Tamihere has been denied parole because he remains an "undue risk" after more than 30 years in prison.

Robert Conchie Harris, better known as Witness C, appeared before the parole board on August 31 requesting that he begin to work towards release from prison through guided releases and day releases.

Harris, 71, was convicted of the 1983 murder of Carole Anne Pye and Trevor Martin Crossley and sentenced to life imprisonment. Subsequently he has been convicted of 23 offences during various releases, as well as the eight charges of perjury.

Harris was one of the jailhouse informants used as Crown witnesses to give "powerful" evidence during the 1990 double-murder trial of David Tamihere.


The prison witnesses all claimed Tamihere had, at different times and while in custody, confessed to how he sexually assaulted and killed the Swedes but in 2017 "jailhouse lawyer" Arthur Taylor successfully proved Harris lied.

At Harris' parole hearing last month, the board concluded he remained an "undue risk" and that he was "not at the reintegrative stage but still at the rehabilitative stage of his sentence".

"He reoffends quickly when released and the psychological report notes that management of his risk cannot rely upon self-control because Mr Harris has illustrated a lack of such control. He is assessed at high risk of a broad range of reoffending including violence and sexual offending," the parole board decision said.

A psychological report also noted that, in its view, Harris was unlikely to make any gains in individual or group treatment.

He will next appear before the parole board in August 2022.

Subscribe to Premium