The man who murdered Christchurch community support worker
Amy Farrall, before going to the West Coast to attack two
female hitch-hikers, could face spending the rest of his life
Aaron Rhys McDonald, 38, who has admitted the brutal rape and
murder, was on parole at the time of his crime spree and had
been out of prison only six months.
Health assessors have been looking at whether he should be
given an open-ended period of preventive detention when he is
sentenced at the High Court in Christchurch this morning.
The body of Miss Farrall, 24, was found in the boot of her
car at a Woolston supermarket on the morning of March 29 this
After the murder, the kitchen-hand from Otaki fled to the
West Coast where he picked up two hitch-hikers, Michaela
Brandl of Germany and Dutch-Japanese woman Niki Honda near
Armed with a metal bar, he robbed them of their personal
belongings and attacked them.
He pushed Ms Honda, of Dutch-Japanese origin, from his moving
4WD before stabbing Ms Brandl, a German, in the neck three
He pleaded guilty to charges of intent to cause grievous
A minor charge of operating a motor vehicle recklessly as he
tried to evade police before being arrested after a five-hour
stand-off, is also admitted.
McDonald was on parole at the time of the crime spree, a
Parole Board decision shows.
He had been sentenced at Palmerston North District Court in
May 2009 to five years and three months in custody for
multiple crimes, including the manufacture of
methamphetamine, burglary, theft, and arson.
A hearing at Rimutaka Prison last September was told McDonald
was a self-confessed alcohol and methamphetamine user who
smoked cannabis daily since he was 15 but his risk to the
community over the remaining nine months of his sentence
could be "adequately mitigated".
He told the board that he had accommodation available in
Special conditions attached to his parole, imposed until
December this year, included that he attend a medium
intensity relapse programme, undertake an alcohol and drug
treatment, or counselling, programme, and to live at the
He was on a 10pm to 6am curfew for the first three months of
his release and was banned from drinking alcohol or taking
illicit drugs or synthetic cannabis.
Miss Farrall and her boyfriend Cory McKeown had met McDonald
while in Christchurch and, out of pity, had asked him to stay
at their Christchurch home while he got on his feet.
Corrections said that McDonald had met his parole conditions
up to the point of his last reporting in to them on March 18
But a review of his management has been undertaken and it's
expected Corrections will reveal its conclusions later today.
The public gallery will be packed today to bear witness to
The Farralls, however, have asked for privacy from the media.
An earlier statement told of their devastation that Miss
Farrall's "caring nature appears to have been tragically
taken advantage of".
- Kurt Bayer of APNZ