A convicted murderer has been recalled to prison after she
was arrested for breaching her parole conditions.
Melissa Anne Wepa spent 15 years behind bars after killing a
friend who dobbed her in to police.
She was released earlier last year but was recalled to prison
in November after allegedly breaching her release conditions.
The 38-year old had been working for a Christchurch painting
contractor and was praised at her last parole board hearing
for her excellent work.
Christchurch District Court had earlier been told she had
left her job and moved house, which created confusion over
whether it meant she had breached her parole conditions.
Wepa - who has a distinctive lizard tattoo on her face which
she has taken steps to have remove because it was "holding
her back" - denies the breach.
Prosecutor Claire Boshier today told the court that the Crown
wanted to pursue a prosecution, despite the fact she'd been
recalled to prison.
Judge Noel Walsh remanded Wepa in custody for a status
hearing on January 31.
Wepa was released from jail last May despite the board
assessing her as a moderate to high risk of reoffending.
But since she was on mood-stabilising drugs, had shown
promise as a painter, and was subject to strict release
conditions, it was thought that her risk could be managed.
Wepa was sentenced to life in prison after she stabbed her
friend, Porirua woman Caroline Gardiner, 50 times before
dumping her body down a bank.
Nine months into her life sentence, Wepa - who had
affiliations to the Mongrel Mob and Deadly F***ing Bitches
gangs - was also charged after nearly biting off another
inmate's nipple during a fight.
In 2005, she escaped from prison with another inmate when
they used a dummy in their cell beds to fool guards.
She escaped again while serving a three-month corrective
training term at Arohata in the early 90s but was caught
- Kurt Bayer of APNZ